At a time when the provision for environmental awareness for young people should be at an all-time high, opportunities for young people to develop environmental understanding, to connect with nature and to act to address environmental problems remain limited. While the popularity of outdoor learning and green schools continues to rise in primary education, secondary schools still face significant barriers to engaging young people with their environment.
This event springboards from the idea that there exists a moral obligation to empower young people and provide them with opportunities for climate action, to learn for sustainability and to re-connect with nature in supported, adult-guided contexts. Attendees will be invited to bring their experiences and personal perspectives to engage in a creative workshop and develop research-based ideas on inspiring opportunities for young people. Teachers, outdoor and environmental education instructors, young people, parents and anyone with an interest in the area are welcome to attend.
The event will explore diverse education and learning environments and the role that adult leadership plays in these contexts. Topics explored will include nature experiences for young people and how these might – or should – differ from the experiences of younger children, how the characteristics of green space might impact young people’s experience (i.e. urban, wild or community gardens for example), and how teaching practice can engage and motivate young people in environmental action. Following an overview of the Environmental Citizenship project based at the University of Surrey, attendees will be encouraged to think about and discuss the significance of green spaces and the potential for improving connections with nature, as well as the difficulties faced in providing high quality environmental learning for young people. The event will include guest speakers, video clips and a hands-on creative activity to inspire discussion. The aim of the session is to bring different perspectives together and to connect attendees to a wider network of people interested in environmental understanding for young people.
Claire Mascall, Post Graduate Researcher, Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey
Anyone with an interest in environmental and sustainability education for young people is welcome to attend. The event will be interspersed with short videos, guest speakers and a hands-on creative activity so children and young people are also very welcome.
The workshop may be of particular interest to secondary school teachers, outdoor and environmental education instructors, young people and their parents.
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