30 ONLINE 21 A, Climate Change Education - Part 2
Paper Session continued from 30 ONLINE 20 A
MeetingID: 857 9192 6641 Code: DvcP8Y
In this era of Climate Risk, it is vital to develop climate change as a topic of science education in the classroom. UNESCO (2019) affirms that education is an essential factor in the global response to climate change by providing education which focuses on knowledge, abilities, values and aptitudes. However, while most teachers recognize the value of introducing students to climate change, we found that climate change is not included in the official curriculum in some Latin-American countries such as Brazil and Colombia. In addition, some teachers have limited knowledge or lack the confidence and support to teach it. While knowledge about climate change is not necessarily required by educational laws, there exists a social and environmental demand since we are in a climate emergency and, in order to act, it is necessary to understand. As Paulo Freire confirms, “When we live the authenticity required by the practice of teaching-learning, we participate in a total, directive, political, ideological, gnoseological, pedagogical, aesthetic and ethical experience, in which beauty must go hand in hand with decency and with seriousness” (Freire, 2019. p. 26).
We observe that Critical Environmental Education (CEE) is a growing field which attempts to trace links between the unequal distribution of environmental risks and issues such as material expropriation, social exclusion, class inequality, as well as ethnic, gender and other cultural prejudices (Carvalho, 2006; Trein, 2012; Wals, 2012; Jickling, Sterling, 2017). These problems have intensified as a consequence of climate change. From a Critical Discourse Studies perspective, critical environmental education can be thought of as a network of social practices in which discourses move from one practice to another. This movement involves reproduction and transformation into dialectics of colonization and appropriation (Chouliaraki and Fairclough 1998). During this process, discourses are recontextualised according to specific social practices, goals and characteristics (Fairclough 2003).
Within this context, Freire (2016) brings us numerous important lessons that point to the understanding of a pedagogy from a perspective that starts from a process of dialogicity. In his writings on ‘education and change’ (2020a) and ‘education as a practice of freedom (2020b)’, he states that the education process should be based on the nature of the human being. This implies accepting that we are unfinished beings. This is where education comes in. However, this refers to education where the human being is the subject, not the object of it. In Freire’s perspective, some necessary dialectical pairs appear. Firstly, ‘knowledge and ignorance’ which understands that there is no absolute ignorance and that knowledge is made through constant improvement. Another pair is ‘love and lack of love’, where love is understood as an intimate intercommunication of two consciences that respect each other (Freire, 2020), or in the words of Bazzul and Tolbert (2019, 0. 306), “love that serves as the foundation for an end to hegemony and the collective construction of new societies”. A final pair is ‘hope and despair’, which is based on incompleteness, and therefore, education must foster hope. Freire also raises other premises wherein man is a being of relationships, but these relationships exist with and through the world. These relationships are based on knowledge, culture. Education must respect this; it must not lead at an ideological, political or commercial level because it would be training for the masses. When education is uninhibited and authentic, it contributes to creativity, which is the ontological impetus of the human being. The concepts of alienated society, closed society and society in transition also appear which are manifested through the possibility of change and social transformation.
In order to design the course, we conducted preparatory research which included a review of literature on climate change education and a review of the guidelines of multilateral organizations. The design process had four stages which are briefly. introduced hereafter. However, the primary focus of this paper will be the first stage (the online survey). Stage 1: Online survey This stage aimed to identify the teachers' prior knowledge and preconceived ideas. We developed a survey divided into four sections. The first one asked about interest in a course about climate change education. The second focused on their understanding of climate change. The third section covered curriculum and educational practice, and the fourth detailed the course structure. We pilot tested the survey with 14 educators. We then refined and launched it again with different structure and content: conceptions of climate change, the media and climate change, valuing climate change, curriculum and educational practice. This final survey included 19 questions, and was answered by 33 teachers who participated in the online course. Participants were assured of the confidentiality of their responses and the voluntary nature of the study. Stage 2: Pilot course This stage aimed to evaluate the structure, organization and content of the course through its application with teacher participants. It was first conducted with a group of in-service teachers in Brazil, and reformulated and refined taking into account the participants’ feedback. To process the information acquired through stages 1 and 2, a textual analysis was carried out. “Data-driven” categories were used meaning that they were constructed a posteriori. Stage 3: Restructuring the course The educational course was restructured based on Freirean concepts or, in the terms of Deleuze. G. (2009), Freirean movements. This succeeded in making the connection with Freirean approaches more explicit. We organized the conceptual structure which implied rethinking communication situations so as to be more defined. The course was then adapted to the Latin-American level. Stage 4: Conducting the course Once the course was restructured, it was conducted with 33 educators from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil. Participants kept a diary during the different sessions. The diaries will be studied using critical discourse analysis in order to identify different situations linking the Freirean perspective, and climate change education. Our analysis will take into account textual (identifying themes, meaning and intertextuality), socio-cognitive (knowledge, ideology) and social aspects (social actors), based on Van Dijk’s theory (2008)
The preliminary results of our survey of 14 professors in Brazil showed an interest in the course mainly because it had a Freirian approach. They expressed their interest in understanding and generating actions related to climate change. From the course they expected to learn educational strategies to articulate theory and practice in the classroom, as well as the applicability of the Freirian vision in pedagogical practice. We also find that teachers need to establish a link between the theoretical and practical aspects in their teaching practice. This is a new topic for them and they have difficulty applying it to a child’s perspective. Denial, lack of knowledge, little scientific support, the use of inadequate methodologies and strategies to address the issue make interactions difficult in the classroom. In relation to the curriculum and educational practice, the participants were asked what concepts they have been working on to develop an understanding of climate change. They responded with forest fires, preservation and environmental education, emission of toxic gases, deforestation, critical environmental education, conscious disposal of waste, sustainability, conservation and planetary ethics. Among the pedagogical strategies used by the teachers we surveyed, there were documentaries, photos, role-playing, artistic-cultural production, field visits, approaches to socio-scientific controversy. Finally, when asked about the challenges experienced during incorporation of climate change topics in the curriculum, teachers expressed the need for continuous and permanent training, pedagogical space-time, interdisciplinary dialogues, denialism on the part of students, articulation of the subject with didactic strategies, the irresponsibility of politicians. Our preliminary understanding is that a practice of climate change education from a Freirian perspective makes it possible to contribute to attitudes and values that transform society's relations with itself and with nature.
Bazzul, J., & Tolbert, S. (2019). Love, politics and science education on a damaged planet. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 14, 303–308. Carvalho, I. Educação Ambiental: a Formação do Sujeito Ecológico. São Paulo: Cortez Editora. 2006. Fairclough, N. Analysing discourse: textual analysis for social research. Routledge. 2003. Freire, Paulo. (2019). Pedagogia da Autonomia. Saberes Necessários à Prática Educativa. São Paulo: Paz & Terra. Freire, Paulo. (2020a.). Educação e Mudança. 42 ed. São Paulo: Paz & Terra. Freire, Paulo. (2020b.) Educação como prática da Liberdade. 48 ed. São Paulo: Paz & Terra. Freire, Paulo.Pedagogia do oprimido. 62 ed. São Paulo: Paz & Terra, 2016. Jickling Y Sterling, Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education: Framing Issues. In: JICKLING, B.; STERLING, S. (Eds.). Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education: Remaking Education for the Future. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 2017. UNESCO (2019). Climate Change Education. Acess: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development/cce Trein, E. Educação Ambiental Crítica: Crítica de Que? Revista Contemporânea de Educação, v. 7, n. 14, p. 295–308. 2012. Wals, A. . Learning Our Way Out of Unsustainability: The Role of Environmental Education. In: CLAYTON, S. (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Conservation Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012.
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