• 26 May 2020, 1:00pm to 26 May 2020, 2:00pm
Footscray Park
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Free

Important information: due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) the climate change education research seminar has been postponed and will not take place on 26 May 2020 as originally planned. A new date will be announced when more information about the restrictions is available.


You are invited to attend the seminar: 'Climate change education: Mapping the nature of climate change, the content knowledge and examination of enactment in upper-secondary Victorian curriculum', on Tuesday 26 May.

This free event is part of the Research Seminar Series, and is presented by the College of Arts & Education and the Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities.

Climate change is widely accepted as the major threat of our time, posing unprecedented challenges to humanity. Yet very little is known regarding the ways in which upper-secondary curricula address the need to educate about this crisis.

About the seminar

This seminar presents and discusses the results of the climate change education study. The study contributes to the field of climate change education theoretically and empirically.

From the theoretical perspective, the study contributes two climate change conceptualisation frameworks:

  • characterisation of the nature of climate change
  • mapping of the scope of climate change content knowledge.

The empirical contribution consists of examining climate change education implementation within upper-secondary curriculum in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Specifically, the authors examined the climate change conceptualisation and the scope of content present in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) study designs. A total of 10 out of 94 study designs qualified for examination through referencing climate change.

The findings suggest that none of the study designs present a complete conceptualisation of the nature of climate change. Common conceptualisations within the study designs perceive climate change as a cause or an outcome, a problem of management, or of technological efficiency.

Climate change content within the study designs is limited, and presents misconceptions, including the assumption that climate change is a natural change caused by astronomical and solar systems. A cross-curriculum integration approach within the study designs is found to be ineffective.

The authors concluded that climate change presents a paradigm shift which brings about the new discipline of climate change. There is a need for curricula reforms to address and incorporate climate change as a coherent body of knowledge.

About the authors

Dr Efrat Eilam is a senior lecturer at the College of Arts & Education. Her research focuses on science and sustainability education. In science education her research focuses on informal science education settings, with particular interest in science outreach programs, such as university-led STEM programs, delivered to school students.

Veerendra Prasad is a qualified teacher, with a postgraduate qualification in climate change education.

Dr Helen Widdop Quinton is a Research Fellow at ISILC (Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities). Drawing on her past work as a school teacher and environmental education project manager, Helen's research focuses on identifying the connections between people and planetary wellbeing

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