Engaging Young People in Climate Change and Sustainability Trails: Local Geographies for Global Insights
Stratford, E and Smit, N and Newton, J, Engaging Young People in Climate Change and Sustainability Trails: Local Geographies for Global Insights, Space, Place and Environment, Geographies of Children and Young People, Springer, K Nairn, P Kraftl, T Skelton (ed), New York, USA, pp. 1-20. ISBN 978-981-4585-90-3 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]
Copyright 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore
This chapter considers how spatial and place-based knowledge may provide young people with confidence and competence to address challenges such as unsustainable development, biodiversity loss, and climate change, and do so from the dynamic vantage point of their "patch" or locale. A key assumption is that for such ends, which foster an ethic of care, academic geographers and universities should engage with young people and others who touch their lives. One mechanism for such engagement is the campus interpretive trail – a purposeful walk through university grounds exploring different themes with a view to transform the walker, designer, and path walked. Here, the authors report and reflect on three such trails they developed at the Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania, Australia. The trails highlight the deeply integrative capacities of geography and education for sustainability (EfS) to support young people, teachers, parents, and guardians so they can respond with resilience and optimism to global challenges at local scales. The trails invite young people to think about how engaging in their everyday worlds may be done "caringly." Theoretically, the chapter is indebted to Doreen Massey’s ideas about "outwardlookingness" and being alive to the world, and attention turns to those ideas mid-chapter with a view to engage with them by reference to the three interpretive trails. Insights from that discussion lead to a commentary on the importance of emotion, play, and place in the work reported here. This focus is warranted on two grounds: outwardlooking connections of the sort Massey envisages are emotional responses to living, and participation in interpretive trails is a playful and empowering way to use EfS to explore place in caring ways.
Research Book Chapter
human geography, children and young people, education for sustainability, climate change, sustainability trails, university campuses