Curriculum Perspectives

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 67–71 | Cite as

What Is Climate Change Education?

  • Robert B. Stevenson
  • Jennifer Nicholls
  • Hilary Whitehouse
Point and Counterpoint

Abstract

This article addresses the questions of what and how educators should teach and how students might be engaged to learn in preparation for an uncertain future arising from the risks and the human and ecological impacts of climate change. Relevant literature is briefly reviewed on student and teacher understandings of climate change and conceptions of climate change education as education for preparing students for future climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and the potential for disaster. Opportunities in Australian schools for teaching climate change mitigation and adaptation are critically examined. Climate change should be understood as a complex social as well as scientific issue characterized by uncertain and context-specific knowledge. This demands educators engage in inquiry and co-learning with students. The lack of time and the reported curriculum opportunities to address climate change in the classroom suggest a need for using co-curricular and community initiatives for student investigations and learning. Teachers must encourage students to think critically and creatively about approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation and develop their capacity to respond with meaningful actions.

Keywords

Mitigation and adaptation Disaster risk Uncertain knowledge 

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Copyright information

© Australian Curriculum Studies Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert B. Stevenson
    • 1
  • Jennifer Nicholls
    • 1
  • Hilary Whitehouse
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education (cRISE) and College of Arts Society and EducationJames Cook UniversityQueenslandAustralia

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