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Educational Research for Social Change

versão On-line ISSN 2221-4070


MULLER, Irene  e  WOOD, Lesley. Raising Awareness of Agency to Address Climate Change: The Do One Thing (DOT) Strategy. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2021, vol.10, n.2, pp.47-62. ISSN 2221-4070.

The United Nations Children's Fund 2008 report, Our Climate, Our Children, Our Responsibility, warned that children will suffer most from the effects of climate change. Environmental education is one way to prepare children to cope and enable them to educate their families and friends about the need to act now to minimise the danger climate change poses. This article reports on findings from a participatory action research project aimed at integrating education for sustainable development into the Grade 7 curriculum, with a specific focus on climate change. Critical participatory action research has a transformative intent, engaging participants in learning to cultivate a sense of purpose and increase their capacity to solve local problems. Learner responses to qualitative questionnaires and recorded discussions related to the Do One Thing (DOT) strategy were used to determine learning about climate change and enable both learners and community members to identify action for change. Thematic coding was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the DOT strategy in increasing awareness of agency and resultant learning. The findings indicate that not only did the learners gain knowledge about the causes and consequences of climate change but the potential of the learners and community members to identify possible actions for change was increased as well. We provide suggestions as to how teachers can use the DOT strategy as part of an action research approach to integrating environmental education for sustainable development in order to raise awareness of local environmental threats and encourage learners and their families to behave in a more environmentally friendly way. The explanation of the research process offered in this article also highlights how participatory learning activities can help engage learners as active agents in their own learning.

Palavras-chave : climate change; collaboration; experiential learning; participatory action research; project-based learning.

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