FORUM
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Volume 62 Number 2 2020

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CONTENTS [click on author's name for abstract and full text]

 

EDUCATION IN A TIME OF CLIMATE CRISIS

Sue Cox. Introduction, pages 145-148 FREE ACCESS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.145

Izzy Lewis. Editorial. Education in a Time of Climate Crisis, pages 149-153 FREE ACCESS VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.149

Roger Holdsworth. Student Agency around Climate Action: a curriculum response, pages 155-164

Lily Dunn. The Daintree Rainforest, pages 165-166

Ahelee Rahman. From Coronavirus to Climate Literacy: lessons learned or welcome excuse when it comes to battling climate change?, pages 167-171

Damon Gameau. 2040: a solutions narrative, pages 173-175

Matt Carmichael. How to Act in a Climate Emergency: guidance for schools, pages 177-188

Belmiro Matos da Costa. Moving towards Climate Justice with Pedagogy of the Oppressed, pages 189-193

Simon Taylor, Lew Zipin & Marie Brennan. Students Researching ‘Problems That Matter’ in Their Communities, pages 195-206

Daisy Coltman. Studying the Real-World Issue of Climate Change through the Extended Project Qualification, pages 207-212

Jude Daniel Smith. Teach the Future, pages 213-217

Stanley Hibberd. Ideas Can Change the World, pages 219-220

Clover Hogan. From Concrete to Bamboo: my crash course through education, pages 221-225

Michael Bassey. Education for Tackling Climate Change, pages 227-233

Tim Jones. The Need for Civil Disobedience and Radical Change in Education, pages 235-241

Len Greenwood. For a Healthy Home, We Must Change Our Education Priorities, pages 243-249

Rita Soares Pinto & Sally Grove-White. From Climate Anxiety to Resilient Active Citizenship: when primary schools, parents and environmental groups work together to catalyse change, pages 251-266

Jo Dacombe. Rights of Nature, pages 267-274

Hazel Singh. Climate Change at the International School of Kenya, pages 275-277

Hazel Healy. Pacific Climate Warrior Brianna Fruean and Anna Taylor of the UK school strikes movement talk about what inspires them and how to avoid activist burnout, pages 279-283

Lucy Gibbons, Shannon Jackson, Annwen Thurlow, Harry Berry, Phoebe Cookson & Cherry Tucker. Young People Have the Capacity to Change the Outlook of the Planet Using Climate Education and Justice to Build a Better Future: a conversation, pages 285-293

BOOK REVIEW
Enfield Voices: the birth of the people’s universities (Tom Bourner & Tony Crilly, Eds), reviewed by Derek Gillard, pages 297-300 VIEW FULL TEXT http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.285


 

Student Agency around Climate Action: a curriculum response

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.155

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Students around the world have led protests over inaction on climate change. They have done this through ‘climate change strikes’. These actions raise larger questions about young people’s perception of the relevance of schooling to their concerns. What should and could be the response of schools? What would it take for students to recognise that schools were supporting them to not only know about these concerns, but to act effectively around them? What would it take for education to remain relevant for all young people and be seen to be equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make those changes today? This article suggests some principles, and some possible curriculum approaches, around renegotiating the purposes of education with young people. It asks of young people: “What would it take for this school to address our issues of concern, so that you didn’t have to walk out?”

 

 

The Daintree Rainforest

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.165

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The wonderful plants and animals of the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia, are at risk of extinction. They and the rainforests of the world must be protected by taking action on climate change.

 

From Coronavirus to Climate Literacy: lessons learned or welcome excuse when it comes to battling climate change?

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.167

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Climate change is an incredibly important issue that has horrific long-term impacts if necessary lifestyle and policy changes are not made now. Despite the presence of significant scientific evidence of climate change for years, many politicians are still unable to admit that climate change is real, let alone create policies to better combat this crisis. In the Australian context in particular, it seemed that politicians would never be able to put their political ambition aside to do what is best for the community and the nation. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian politicians have put aside their political differences and created effective policies without being bogged down by unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. The pandemic has especially highlighted the benefits of unity, information and steadfast, consistent messaging. Australians have seen at first hand the immense power that communities, the political system and social institutions have when they are united. If this power is used to address climate change issues by advocating for climate literacy, much progress can be made.

 

2040: a solutions narrative

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.173

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Aware of the complexity of the ecological dilemmas his young daughter would have to face in the future, Damon Gameau made a documentary that was an experiment in using solutions as a motivator and an experiment in trying to kick-start the public’s imagination. In this article, he discusses the film and the actions that have stemmed from it, including the 2040 Regeneration project. He sees education as central to this cause.

 

How to Act in a Climate Emergency: guidance for schools

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.177

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The climate and ecological emergency is a crisis of trust and relevance for schools as much as it is of funding and fuel. It raises issues around mental health, equality and accountability, as well as the core function of education. In this article, such issues are outlined, followed by a crisis management guide for rapid implementation that covers guiding principles, as well as practical ideas, for action on decarbonising, well-being, resilience, curriculum and staff training.

 

Moving towards Climate Justice with Pedagogy of the Oppressed

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.189

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Climate education is increasingly being taught in schools, and groups are looking to pass climate education into law. This article looks at climate justice, a framing of the overarching climate movement, to advocate for an education that inspires action. Drawing from Freire’s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’, it makes a case for problem-posing education over the banking model of education, specifically when teaching about social issues.

 

Students Researching ‘Problems That Matter’ in Their Communities

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.195

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In this article, the authors argue that curriculum needs to change, bringing school knowledge into greater proximity to community ‘problems that matter’ (PTMs) and gathering students, community members, teachers and academics with relevant knowledge to work on the problem. Illustrating this orientation through a collaborative project in a local high school, the authors provide a rationale that links school knowledge with community ‘funds of knowledge’ – those rich cultural resources that build across family and local-community networks as people apply intelligence to conditions affecting their lives. PTM curriculum activity thus builds capacities for social-justice activism, driven by ethical care for the needs and aspirations of people in communities on the horizons of schools. However, despite the good intentions of many who educate in schools, they are not simply free to take up alternative curriculum practices, even when shown as more socially just, and effective in engaging students and building knowledge abilities useful in their present and future lives. Schools are caught up in power relations that help produce social inequality. Policies from ‘above’ press down into school leadership decisions and classroom practices, pushing schools into competition with each other rather than fostering care for local communities. The authors argue that schools owe an ethical duty of care to the communities, especially marginalised groups, that they are supposed to serve. Supporting young people’s agency in collaborative work on meaningful PTMs can give schools impetus to align with better social purposes for curriculum knowledge activity.

 

Studying the Real-World Issue of Climate Change through the Extended Project Qualification

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.207

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This article is about the process and outcome of carrying out the author’s Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The title of her EPQ was: ‘Is It Politically Possible to Keep Global Temperature Rise “Well below 2 °C”?’ – using the wording of the Paris Agreement to focus on the temperature threshold that scientists believe is safe for our planet. Detailing the international, national and local levels of politics combatting climate change, the EPQ led the author to research agreements, such as Paris, and national issues, such as the United Kingdom’s electricity generation. She discusses the value of the EPQ. It allowed her to explore a real-world issue, which not only made her more engaged in learning, but gave her a greater understanding of the world we live in.

 

Teach the Future

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.213

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This article, written on behalf of the Teach the Future team, urgently addresses the importance of comprehensive climate education and its subsequent necessity in the midst of the climate emergency and ecological crisis, incorporating evidence from schools, colleges and universities, and outlining the need for net-zero education buildings, new professional teaching qualifications and a complete repurposing of the entire education system to prepare the next generation to tackle the catastrophe at hand.

 

Ideas Can Change the World

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.219

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In this time of climate change, many young children dream about finding ways to save the planet. The curriculum teaches about the problems – and about the small changes that can be made to slow down global warming. But children need more skills for the jobs of the future and to be taught how to bring their amazing ideas to life.

 

From Concrete to Bamboo: my crash course through education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.225

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Clover Hogan is a 20-year-old climate activist, researcher on turning anxiety into agency from Australia, and the founder of Force of Nature. In this article, she talks about how education is a ‘system of rote, churning out worker bees for the hive’ and, through education, children are manipulated and scared into abiding by the regulatory rules. It was only when she went to Green School in Bali that she realised this, because they weren’t conventional and took a more holistic approach to teaching and developing young minds by working on all three learning modalities, using the environment surrounding them. She then decided to upturn the standardised education system and show that students aren’t just only made to pass exams; they are a whole mixture of things, and it’s only when a school begins to develop their understandings of nature that flexibility in the system will happen. And those lessons make those students more equipped to be happy and to help the planet in every way [written by Lucy Gibbons on behalf of Clover Hogan].

 

Education for Tackling Climate Change

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.227

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Young people not only need to know about what is causing the climate to change for the worse as the Earth heats up, but also need to develop the personal skills to tackle the challenges that they may face in the future. For schools to support this effectively and in relation to community development, government control of the school curriculum must give way to collegial planning by teachers within their schools.

 

The Need for Civil Disobedience and Radical Change in Education

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.235

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This article argues that it is necessary to fight for a radical and immediate restructuring of our educational systems. Young people are currently being prepared for a future that does not exist, and we are lying to them and to ourselves by pretending that we can address the climate and ecological emergency from within existing educational and political paradigms. The author’s argument that direct action and civil disobedience are essential in achieving the change that is needed might sound extreme to some people. But the consequences of inaction are far more extreme. We are taught – constantly and not only in schools – that breaking the rules is wrong. But if following the rules means conforming with collective behaviours that are rapidly destroying the living planet and our chances of continued life on it, then we must quickly learn to constructively disobey. Radical change for a more humane educational system is needed for its own sake, but, in the current emergency, this need for change is not only necessary but also urgent.

 

For a Healthy Home, We Must Change Our Education Priorities

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.243

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In this article, the author discusses the need for a complete refocusing of education throughout the world, prioritizing environmental education in all K–12 schools. He provides a summary of his Green Career Program and the many extensions it encompassed. The program endorses the importance of creating student voice, critical thinking and the education of a New Green Workforce which prioritizes caring for the health of the planet. The author believes that the Green New Deal cannot function if educational priorities are not rethought (environmental education throughout the curriculum), and presents his thoughts on the state of the planet and assisting youth to shape their future.

 

From Climate Anxiety to Resilient Active Citizenship: when primary schools, parents and environmental groups work together to catalyse change

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.251

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This article presents the perspectives and experiences of parents of primary school children who, as climate change activists, have been reflecting on the role of primary schools and actively engaging in their children’s school by piloting a climate change action initiative in close collaboration with environmental organisations. At the intersection of primary education, climate change and active citizenship for social change, this article contributes to the following questions: What is the role of primary schools regarding the current climate emergency? How can primary schools contribute to building a generation of emotionally resilient, environmentally aware, proactive citizens? While the authors’ professional backgrounds and work are not directly in education, they hope that reflections about active citizenship and social change can bring rich perspectives on the role of schools and formal education on climate change. The first section reflects on the unique role of primary schools regarding the current climate emergency. The second section discusses the authors’ own experience of setting up a Climate Action Group of parents, school staff, teachers and pupils, and how they were able to support the school to put climate action at its core.

 

Rights of Nature

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.267

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Artist Jo Dacombe remembers a school residency when she was working as an Associate Artist at Nottingham Contemporary, a large contemporary arts centre. Through the residency, she worked with a group of primary children of mixed ages to explore themes from the exhibition Rights of Nature. She describes the experience for the children, the nature of a creative enquiry-based practice and how this process benefitted this particular group of children. The impact was far-reaching, not just developing their creative skills but also their self-confidence and personal connections with nature and how we treat the world. Jo concludes with her reflections on the benefits of creative projects to engage young children with the nature around them.

 

Climate Change at the International School of Kenya

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.275

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This article is about the efforts of Students for the Environment, which operates at the International School of Kenya. It discusses their past successes, their current plans and what they hope for the future. It includes their operations, as well as the impact they have been able to have on their school community. It also introduces some of the ways they plan to positively affect their environment, mitigate negative impacts on their environment and how it contributes to climate change.

 

‘Real Education Happens Outside the Classroom’?: Pacific Climate Warrior Brianna Fruean and Anna Taylor of the UK school strikes movement talk about what inspires them and how to avoid activist burnout

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.279

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In this powerful exploration of youth solidarity, a conversation takes place between two youth activists in the climate movement: the Pacific Climate Warrior Brianna Fruean, whose island of Samoa is already affected by cyclones and floods, and Anna Taylor, who kickstarted the United Kingdom’s school strikes network. They compare notes on what inspires them, share their views on what should be taught in schools and swap tips on how to avoid activist burnout.

 

Young People Have the Capacity to Change the Outlook of the Planet Using Climate Education and Justice to Build a Better Future: a conversation

http://doi.org/10.15730/forum.2020.62.2.285

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In this article, Lucy Gibbons presents a conversation between herself and a group of young people where they talk about their experiences and involvement in the YouthStrike4Climate movement and discuss some of their concerns about education in the context of climate crisis.

 

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