HOW CAN THE USE OF PARTICIPATORY AND CO-CREATION APPROACHES ENHANCE YOUNG PEOPLE´S CIVIC PARTICIPATION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION?
University of Porto, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Europe is going through diverse economic, social, and political challenges, due to the Covid-19 pandemic effects, the emergence of war, and the climate crises. Thus, adaptation to climate change becomes even more urgent, providing an opportunity for Europe to become more resilient and just with climate issues (European Commission, 2020; Wilson & Orlove, 2021).
This communication is part of the ClimActiC Project and is based on two main objectives:
a) The first one reflects on education for climate change, through participatory research in 7 schools of 7 regions in the North of Portugal and research centres of the University of Porto;
b) The second one follows on conversations about climate change, research, and politics between policy-makers, economic agents, activists, and researchers for the co-design of actionable solutions at the local level.
The project challenged 26 classes of students from the 7th and 12th grades and 19 teachers in 7 School Clusters to develop a local Climate Community Profile, an educational approach with the potential to promote young people’s participatory citizenship (Menezes & Ferreira, 2014), including active participation in community development (Menezes, 2010). As such, participant students and teachers involved people from their communities through questionnaire surveys and interviews to build their local community profile. The community climate profile aims to involve students to collect and analyse data on climate problems in their region so that from there they could discuss possible solutions.
In a second phase, between April and June 2022, the Collaborative Climate Laboratories (CiCli-Labs) were developed with the purpose of creating spaces for dialogue between different actors, in order to find answers to climate change in the region, focusing on the development of community resilience and the search for local solutions. So, the CiCli-Labs, as a participatory methodology, allowed the co-creation of a climate problem tree, a social climate cartography, a debate on solutions, and a collaborative climate adaptation plan, in a collaborative dialogue between the different participants.
During the 15 sessions of the CiCli-Labs, a total of 67 students and 13 teachers from 8 Schools, 38 political decision-makers, economic and social agents, activists, representatives of Intermunicipal Communities (CIM), and researchers participated.
Therefore, in this communication, we discuss the potential and constraints of participatory research with young people and teachers from the above reported educational experiences. Furthermore, we discuss the importance of a mutual learning model, through a co-creation approach (Roche et al., 2020), that will allow facing the challenges of climate adaptation, bringing to school the crucial debate of education for citizenship and civic participation of young people.
Keywords: Education for citizenship, Civic Participation, Young people, Participatory research, Challenges for climate adaptation.