Education is of great importance in the context of climate change, as it can promote pro-environmental behaviour. However, climate change education is accompanied by didactic and pedagogical challenges because, among other reasons, climate change is a complex phenomenon and many people have a psychological distance to the topic. A promising approach to face these challenges is inquiry-based learning (IBL), as several studies show. To date, however, there are barely any empirically tested instructional designs, especially for close-to-science IBL, focusing on climate change. The study presented here therefore addresses the question of how a science propaedeutic seminar for upper secondary schools on the regional implications of climate change should be designed to ensure successful learning processes. Based on the design-based research approach, qualitative research methods (focus group discussions, semi-standardised written teacher surveys, and participant observations) were used to identify target-oriented design guidelines and implementation principles for such seminars. In the seminars, 769 students have so far researched different aspects of climate change in their own regions. The identified design guidelines and implementation principles were further operationalised for teaching practice, so that the research generated both a contribution to theory building and an applicable concept for schools.
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