Next Article in Journal
Blockchain-Based Cyber Threat Intelligence System Architecture for Sustainable Computing
Next Article in Special Issue
Understanding of Sustainability and Education for Sustainable Development among Pre-Service Biology Teachers
Previous Article in Journal
Robo-Advisors: Machine Learning in Trend-Following ETF Investments
Previous Article in Special Issue
Land-Use and Health Issues in Malagasy Primary Education—A Delphi Study
Due to scheduled maintenance work on our core network, there may be short service disruptions on this website between 16:00 and 16:30 CEST on September 25th.
Article

Science Education for Sustainability: Strengthening Children’s Science Engagement through Climate Change Learning and Action

1
Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
2
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6400; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166400
Received: 25 June 2020 / Revised: 27 July 2020 / Accepted: 29 July 2020 / Published: 9 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching Sustainable Development Goals in Science Education)
Scientists and sustainability scholars continue to make urgent calls for rapid societal transformation to sustainability. Science education is a key venue for this transformation. In this manuscript, we argue that by positioning children as critical actors for sustainability in science education contexts, they may begin to reimagine what science means to them and to society. This multi-site, mixed-methods study examined how children’s climate change learning and action influenced their science engagement along cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions. For fifteen weeks, ten- to twelve-year-olds participated in an after-school program that combined on-site interactive educational activities (e.g., greenhouse gas tag) with off-site digital photography (i.e., photovoice process), and culminated in youth-led climate action in family and community settings. Participants were 55 children (M = 11.1 years), the majority from groups underrepresented in science (52.7% girls; 43.6% youth of color; 61.8% low-income). Combined survey and focus group analyses showed that, after the program, science became more relevant to children’s lives, and their attitudes towards science (i.e., in school, careers, and in society) improved significantly. Children explained that understanding the scientific and social dimensions of climate change expanded their views of science: Who does it, how, and why—that it is more than scientists inside laboratories. Perhaps most notably, the urgency of climate change solutions made science more interesting and important to children, and many reported greater confidence, participation, and achievement in school science. The vast majority of the children (88.5%) reported that the program helped them to like science more, and following the program, more than half (52.7%) aspired to a STEM career. Lastly, more than a third (37%) reported improved grades in school science, which many attributed to their program participation. Towards strengthening children’s science engagement, the importance of climate change learning and action—particularly place-based, participatory, and action-focused pedagogies—are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; climate change education; participatory action research; photovoice; science attitudes; sustainability children; climate change education; participatory action research; photovoice; science attitudes; sustainability
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Trott, C.D.; Weinberg, A.E. Science Education for Sustainability: Strengthening Children’s Science Engagement through Climate Change Learning and Action. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6400. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166400

AMA Style

Trott CD, Weinberg AE. Science Education for Sustainability: Strengthening Children’s Science Engagement through Climate Change Learning and Action. Sustainability. 2020; 12(16):6400. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166400

Chicago/Turabian Style

Trott, Carlie D., and Andrea E. Weinberg 2020. "Science Education for Sustainability: Strengthening Children’s Science Engagement through Climate Change Learning and Action" Sustainability 12, no. 16: 6400. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166400

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop