Climate change ignorance: an unacceptable legacy

Boon, Helen (2015) Climate change ignorance: an unacceptable legacy. Australian Educational Researcher, 42 (4). pp. 405-427.

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Climate change effects will be most acutely felt by future generations. Recent prior research has shown that school students’ knowledge of climate change science is very limited in rural Australia. The purpose of this study was to assess the capacity of preservice teachers and parents to transmit climate change information and understanding to school students in a rural tropical part of Australia using Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory as a guiding theoretical framework. Samples consisted of parents of school-age children in northern Queensland (n = 267) and first year pre-service teachers (n = 199) attending a local university serving the same geographic region of Australia. Survey results gathered in the aftermath of cyclone Yasi highlighted gaps in pre-service teachers’ knowledge of climate change science and parental concerns about climate change impacts and a mistrust of climate change communication. Findings suggested that home and school influences upon school aged students were unlikely to support students’ understanding of climate change or to be able to empower them to adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts. Implications of these findings, which are potentially applicable to other rural and remote parts of the world, are discussed within the context of teacher training and climate science communication.

Item ID: 36949
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2210-5328
Keywords: teacher education, rural, community, school children, climate change, Bronfenbrenner's bioecological theory
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2015 23:48
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators @ 70%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl Planning) @ 0%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 100%
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