Rushton EAC, Sharp S, Kitson A & Walshe N (2023) Reflecting on Climate Change Education Priorities in Secondary Schools in England: Moving beyond Learning about Climate Change to the Emotions of Living with Climate Change. Sustainability, 15 (8), p. 6497. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086497
Schools in England remain a valued and important site of climate change education for secondary school pupils (aged 11–18 years). Drawing on focus group data (n = 85) from young people based in eight schools in England, we explored the language pupils used about climate change. We found that young people’s responses to climate change were predominantly focused on content knowledge about climate change, including the concept of global warming and a range of negative impacts, such as biodiversity and habitat loss and extreme and unpredictable weather. In addition, the young people expressed emotions in relation to climate change that were primarily negative and were focused on fear of the future and fear of frustrated youth action. We highlight that school-based climate change education requires support and resources from policy-makers so that young people do not solely learn about climate change, but rather, they are able to live with the emotions of a future shaped by the impacts of climate change. We highlight the need for teacher professional development which enables them to respond to the emotions young people experience in the context of climate change education.
Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law; Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Geography, Planning and Development; Building and Construction
Sustainability: Volume 15, Issue 8