RETHINKING CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH IN A WORLD OF SHIFTING CLIMATES
1 York University, Department of Science and Technology Studies (CANADA)
2 York University, Faculty of Education (CANADA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:It is now becoming clear that climate change is and increasingly will be the biggest challenge facing the world. Yet, far less clear, is how to integrate climate change into schooling to cultivate enduring educational experiences. The goals of this paper are twofold. The first is to explore and identify the visions and trends that guide climate change educational research. In this sense, we aimed to answer the following question: what visions and roles does climate change educational research propose (and also foreclose) for children and teachers in a changing world? To address this question, we conducted a literature review of about fifty relevant publications on education and climate change spanning across countries in the last decade. Our findings indicate that the emphasis of climate change educational research so far has been mainly on the literacy rate of pupils and teachers, and also on the conceptualizations and framing of this theme. This means that, for the most part, climate change educational research has been concerned with visions of deficits of knowledge and misunderstandings of basic scientific principles, especially by pupils.
Drawing from a variety of influences, such as critical pedagogy, cultural, and science studies, the second goal of this paper is to assess the main implications of such visions and roles enacted through climate change educational research. In this sense, we critically highlight the functions that they propose for children and teachers in a world of shifting climates where increasing uncertainty is inescapable. As a result of this discussion, we urge a reassessment of learning about climate change in the classrooms based on more socially and ecologically situated explorations that overcome the limitations of current trends in climate change educational research.
Keywords: Climate change education, stem, climate change literacy, deficit model, climate change educational research, conceptualization, environmental education.