Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

A curriculum for climate justice

A curriculum for climate justice: a collaborative investigation of the challenges and opportunities for climate change education through a social justice lens

Team Members:  Callum McGregor, Beth Christie, Pete Higgins

School: Moray House School of Education

Abstract

The University of Edinburgh’s 2016-2026 Climate Strategy outlines a whole institute approach to climate action, including learning and teaching. However, if climate change-related teaching in Higher Education (HE) is to translate into meaningful action, then two things must be considered: firstly, teachers and learners need to reframe ‘climate action’ by moving beyond individual behavior change models and considering implications for social justice. We call this climate justice education (CJE). Secondly, CJE in HE must be recognised as existing in an inter-related ecology of educational spaces, including schools, the wider community and social movements.

This two-year participatory action research project (involving academics, teacher-learners and school students) will investigate the challenges and opportunities for bringing social justice and sustainability together through CJE, thereby more meaningfully integrating HE teaching and learning with the challenges and opportunities faced by professional practitioners working within the Scottish policy context of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). We will aim to answer the question ‘what are the challenges and opportunities for developing a curriculum for climate justice education in Moray House School of Education, which is both informed by, and accountable to, the challenges faced by professional practitioners?’

Outcomes from the project will inform a collaborative programme of dissemination, knowledge exchange and curriculum development with diverse stakeholders.