Futureproofing environmental pedagogy: emotional resilience, mental health and action in the climate emergency

Organizer: Tania Leimbach
Format: Onsite-Online, Afternoon

The aims of this presentation are two-fold: a) explore the significant role that teaching and learning can play in illuminating tensions, contradictions and opportunities in contemporary society, structured around four key areas: science and media literacy; critical awareness of business-as-usual; risk frameworks; and futuring methods for developing solution mindsets, b) examine the experience of students and educators in Australian universities and their response to the delivery of `crisis’ subjects. The session is based around a body of research whose aim is to engage with key questions of pedagogy in the tertiary education sector and ways to better develop climate literacy; media literacy; risk framing and futuring methods for students. Our intention is to share pedagogical strategies that can support the personal and professional agency of students and educators. We will explore the affective dimension of ‘crisis’ and present a toolkit for climate students and educators, ‘Staying sane in the face of climate change and other dilemmas: A toolkit of emerging ideas to support emotional resilience, mental health and action’. As feelings of environmental grief, nihilism, eco-depression and climate anxiety become more common in the student body, educators need the knowledge and resources to help students deal with these emotional impacts. This is important for understanding the different ways that learning material can impact students on a subjective level; and inform the development of pedagogical strategies that support the integration of content and the efficacy of our future professionals, citizens and political leaders.

Themes: Integrated Action for the SDGs, Knowledge-to-Action