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      Responding to the environmental crisis through education: the imperative for teacher support across all disciplines

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            Abstract

            The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (IPCC, 2023) sets out sobering scenarios about the future for our young people and appeals for “deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions” (ibid., p. 12). Although technological responses are essential to achieve these reductions, technocratic solutions will not solve the environmental crisis; instead, a widespread societal transformation is needed. Education can play a profound role in this transformation as it is fundamental to building a society with knowledge, skills and wherewithal to boldly tackle climate change as well as the broader environmental crisis. This commentary reflects on multiple dimensions of this role and particularly focuses on schools and the important contribution that all subjects can make towards developing interdisciplinary, complex understandings of the environmental crisis and how we can live more sustainably. Drawing from a recent nation-wide survey of teachers in England carried out by UCLs Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education (Greer, Sheldrake, et al., 2023), we highlight a troubling lack of engagement in formal professional development related to climate change and sustainability, even amongst a ‘climate change engaged’ cohort of teachers, and the imperative for comprehensive professional development for teachers from across all disciplines, as part of the response to the environmental crisis.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            24 August 2023
            Affiliations
            [1 ] IOE, UCLs Faculty of Education and Society, University College London;
            Author notes
            Author information
            https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5677-713X
            Article
            10.14324/111.444/000211.v1
            bde54e5d-d838-4375-9c86-d4ae2e17fe25

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            History
            : 24 August 2023
            Categories

            The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
            Education
            Education,Climate Change,Environment,Teachers,Knowledge,Professional Development,The Environment,Climate

            Comments

            Date: 24 August 2023

            Handling Editor: Prof Dan Osborn

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            2023-08-24 15:25 UTC
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