Earth Education UK
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To find out more about earth education in the UK, go to www.eartheducation.org.uk
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Excerpts from Robin Alexander's presentation.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Today COIN releases ‘Young Voices’, a major new report looking at young people’s attitudes to climate change.
Supported by the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics, this is the first British study to ask young people themselves for their advice on how to engage their peers more effectively, and to propose and test new climate change narratives specifically designed to engage 18-25 year olds.
Commenting on the study, Dr Adam Corner, COIN’s Research Director, said:
“Our research suggests that many young people care deeply and passionately about climate change. However, there has been a collective failure to talk to young people about climate change in a way that inspires them. Too many assumptions have been made by communicators, which haven’t been tested. Working directly with young people we have been able to trial a series of narratives about climate change, providing valuable insights for anyone interested in improving communication about climate change with this group.”
The findings revealed that many current climate engagement strategies may be failing to reach young people.
Some of the key findings and recommendations from the report include:
· For young people, climate change is fundamentally about the ‘here and now’ – describing the effect it will have on future generations, as campaigners and scientists often do, undermines the urgency of the problem.
· Young people want to hear how climate change relates to (and will affect) those aspects of their everyday lives that they are passionate about - but communicators must take care not to ‘trivialise’ the issue by failing to link the ‘personal’ to the ‘political’.
· Fighting organised scepticism is mostly seen as a waste of energy by young people – scepticism is relatively uncommon among the young and talking ‘solutions not science’ is a much better approach.
· Young people often find it hard to talk about climate change with their peers - there was a fear that talking about climate change would set them apart as ‘preachy’ or ‘un-cool’.
· There is widespread doubt that there is a ‘concerned majority’ among the general public who support action on climate change - communicating a ‘social consensus’ on climate action may be just as important as the scientific consensus.
· Young people have very little faith in mainstream politicians – so it makes more sense to ask young people to challenge (not support) politicians on climate policies. Campaign messages should clearly set out what needs to be done – who, when, where and what young people can do to make a difference – and which policy prescriptions support this.
· Climate jargon is unfamiliar and off-putting – phrases like ‘managing climate risks’, ‘decarbonisation’ and ‘2 degrees’ are seen as hollow and vague. People want to hear about specific policies and how these relate to protecting the things people love and are passionate about.
‘Young Voices’ uses COIN’s ‘Narrative Workshops’ method, which explores study participants' values, aspirations and views on climate change before formulating different ‘narratives’ for testing (short pieces of written text that use different language to describe climate change and climate policies). This allows careful attention to be paid to the words and phrases that people respond positively to, and provides a vehicle for building on the core values that underpin public engagement with climate change.
Monday, 6 October 2014
First hand frequent contact with the natural world is crucial in creating an environmental ethic. Frequent and ongoing magic spots are also, I believe, good for mental and emotional welfare and I suspect also for physical well-being.
I frequently walk in the Wyre Forest, keeping up a brisk pace, sometimes pausing to look at birds through my binoculars. However, this week I realised that though I frequently extol the virtues of magic spots I had not treated myself to one of my own for a long time. So I did. I left the path, found a small tree surrounded by bracken and settled down. An hour passed very quickly!
Please share your own thoughts and experiences of magic spots and any observations that you have of their impact on youngsters.
We know from running Wyre Forest Sunship Earth that a number of participants come back as young leaders on the programme and we can see that they love Sunship Earth and are keen to help other young people to have these experiences. Many go on to study environmental related subjects at University and/or train to be teachers. I sometimes hear from friends whose children have attended the programme and they often report that their children have followed similar career pathways.
We also hear that many youngsters on returning home, pester their parents to adopt more environmentally responsible habits in the home. However this is often short lived! , Once they become teenagers they sometimes rebel against their family environmental good habits (parents who send their children to SSE are often pretty committed to living lightly in the first place). I suspect though that once teenage rebellion has passed, many reclaim their environmental commitments.
Do you know anyone who attended an earth education programme in the past? What are they doing now? Are they working in an environmentally related career? Volunteering? Demonstrate environmental good habits in their lives? Please post your responses.