Next in the DERC Seminar series to focus on environmental education.
This series of seminars by ANGEL partner the Development Education Research Centre (DERC) sees experts in different areas of global education presenting their research and opening it up to discussion with an engaged audience of students, researchers and the public.
The next seminar is "Accepting responsibility for global environmental challenges: the role of education", is presented by Dr Rob Amos, of Kent University - and the academic lead of the successful 'Power to the Planet!' strand of UCL’s Global Citizenship Programme.
The world is facing a series of global environmental challenges that are growing in complexity and intensity. Climate change is no longer an obscure future scenario but impacting communities around the world. Biodiversity loss has tipped into the sixth mass extinction event; humans achieving in decades what previously took thousands of years. International responses to these challenges fall short. The 2019 meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change ended in acrimony and delayed decisions about how much states are willing to change their unsustainable behaviours. Global efforts to end biodiversity decline by 2020 have failed and are unlikely to be replaced by a more robust approach.
How do we overcome this? In this talk, I will examine the role of education, specifically environmental education and education for global citizenship, in not only informing individuals about environmental problems, but providing them with the essential skills to aid society in transitioning to a more sustainable model. It will be argued that education also has the potential to shift the way we, as individuals and a society, perceive environmental problems. Education cannot reconcile some of the fundamental tensions we see in local and global environmental agenda, but by locating local issues within their global contexts and defining global issues in terms of their local impacts, it can instil a sense of collective human responsibility for the damage we are causing to our shared planet. The environmental strand of UCL’s Global Citizenship Programme will be used as a case study of how this education might be delivered in practice, and its limitations in terms of what is practically achievable within the higher education sector.