Climate change is a major problem currently facing society. While many individuals understand actions can be taken to combat it (e.g., turning electrical devices off), actual behavioural change is limited, sporadic or non-existent. This failure to change behaviour is often attributed to cognitive barriers: attitudes and patterns of reasoning that inhibit action (e.g., my effort is a drop in the ocean … so I may as well not bother recycling).
This project draws on theories from psychology (theory of planned behaviour) and education (dialogic teaching) to develop primary school children’s understanding of and sense of agency about pro-environmental behaviours. The aim is to foster children’s understanding that their actions can have an impact and, ultimately, to change attitudes and intentions towards pro-environmental behaviours.
Lead by Dr Jonathan Halls, the project will contribute to current resources on climate change education. Planned resources include a gamebook: a choose-your-own-adventure-style comic that will allow primary-aged children to explore the impact their decisions can have on their future. This gamebook will be embedded in discussion-based lessons to facilitate reflection about pro-environmental behaviours.
The project is currently in its infancy, details of publications and resources will be updated as appropriate.
This project is funded by the British Academy, through the Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme.