The outdoor classroom is in Bergsjön, Gothenburg.
Photo: Jenny Högström Berntson

Pam Fredman award 2021 to archaeologist Anita Synnestvedt

As the recipient of Pam Fredman's award 2021, Anita Synnestvedt is awarded for her “innovative thinking and creative initiatives, which through collaboration have contributed to both social sustainability and lifelong learning for both today's visitors and future generations”.

For many years, Synnestvedt has worked in various ways with new creative pedagogical practices to reach mixed student groups both within and outside the university.

– Within the EU project Here I live - 4000 years on Siriusgatan, I collaborated with Familjebostäder, the Park and Nature Administration in the City of Gothenburg and in close collaboration with school classes and teachers in the Gothenburg suburb of Bergsjön, says Anita Synnestvedt.

How to use cultural heritage to create better outdoor environments

– The aim was to build an outdoor classroom with interactive signs and an exhibition of archaeological material around the 4000-year-old cist grave, at Siriusgatan. The purpose of the project was to make the place and its history accessible to everyone and at the same time show how to use cultural heritage to create better outdoor environments and positive meeting places.

The project is a good example of how, based on archaeological remains in the middle of a residential area, one can combine learning, research communication and sustainability thinking for today's visitors and future generations.

Used by teachers and students

- I find it very rewarding that teachers and students in schools in the local area use the outdoor classroom continuously. One of the teachers actually says in an interview that the grave with its outdoor classroom and information signs has become an excellent tool in teaching. And that for many students who have a background in other countries, the site now creates a sense of belonging and pride in the place they now live in.

How does it feel to receive this fine award?

– I am honored and surprised, but of course happy that the site and the area is given attention and that the work put into this by many stakeholders is recognized in such a fine way.  It was a couple of years ago since the opening of the outdoor classroom (September 2018) but unfortunately due to a lot of construction work nearby the site during 2019 and then the pandemic situation in 2020/21 the full potential of the classroom and the stage has not yet been reached. But, hopefully better times will come, and maybe the award will give some extra attention to the site and the suburban area in Bergsjön.

Skyltar där man kan läsa berättelser i uteklassrummet
The classroom is for everyone to visit, says Anita.
Photo: Jenny Högström Berntson

Text: Jenny Högström Berntson 

More information

Anita Synnestvedt is a teacher and researcher at the Department of Historical studies and coordinator for the Heritage Academy at the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS), University of Gothenburg.

The Project “Here I live - 4000 years on Siriusgatan” was conducted within the EU funded NEARCH project.
More about the project on their website

Read more about The Pam Fredman Award