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Education for What? Shaping the field of climate change education with children and young people as co-researchers

Cutter-Mackenzie, A and Rousell, DS (2018) Education for What? Shaping the field of climate change education with children and young people as co-researchers. Children's Geographies, 17 (1). pp. 90-104. ISSN 1473-3277

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Abstract

Children and young people are often positioned as the next generation of leaders in whom the public imagines or expects to overcome the legacies of climate and environmental inaction. Increasingly analyses of progress in environmental education independently identify the need for researchers and teachers to ‘listen to children’s voices’. In this paper we argue that climate change education presents a significant platform not only for youth voices, but also for a genuine activation of children’s political agency in schools, universities, and the public domain. In so doing, we draw upon the government funded project Climate Change + Me, which has involved working with 135 children and young people from across Northern NSW, Australia as co-researchers investigating young people’s voices in climate change. We conclude that climate change education can open up an entirely new field of educational experience and inquiry when it is inclusive of and led by young people.

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