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A systematic review of climate change education: giving children and young people a ‘voice’ and a ‘hand’ in redressing climate change

Rousell, D ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4509-6128 and Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A (2020) A systematic review of climate change education: giving children and young people a ‘voice’ and a ‘hand’ in redressing climate change. Children's Geographies, 18 (2). pp. 191-208. ISSN 1473-3277

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Abstract

The reality of anthropogenic climate change has been established ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by leading scientists worldwide. Applying a systematic literature review process, we analysed existing literature from 1993 to 2014 regarding climate change education for children and young people, with the aim of identifying key areas for further research. While a number of studies have indicated that young people’s understandings of climate change are generally limited, erroneous and highly influenced by mass media, other studies suggest that didactic approaches to climate change education have been largely ineffectual in affecting students’ attitudes and behaviour. The review identifies the need for participatory, interdisciplinary, creative, and affect-driven approaches to climate change education, which to date have been largely missing from the literature. In conclusion, we call for the development of new forms of climate change education that directly involve young people in responding to the scientific, social, ethical, and political complexities of climate change.

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