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Global Inequality and the Climate Crisis

Dry river bed in the Far North region of Cameroon, in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa

Photo credit: Manu Lekunze

Global Inequality and the Climate Crisis in school geography 2022-2023

GICC (Global Inequality and the Climate Crisis) is a 7-month collaborative project between researchers, the Geographical Association and teachers in Cameroon, funded by the ESRC. The project is led by Dr Melis Cin, Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice in the Department of Educational Research at the University of Lancaster, in partnership with the Open University (Professor Parvati Raghuram) and the University of Aberdeen (Dr Manu Lekunze). Alesha de Fonseka, a teacher at Matthew Arnold School, Oxford, will develop the scheme of work.

The project aims to address relationships between humans and the climate crisis in the light of global inequalities created by colonial legacies. The GA is working as a partner to co-produce and pilot KS3 teaching materials and to present teacher CPD courses.

 

Project summary

The 2022 GA National Research Report shows that there is a demand from geography teachers for high-quality, up-to-date teaching materials and activities relating to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in geography teaching to facilitate engagement with anti-racism and decolonisation in school geography.

At the same time, reports from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) highlight the role of human activities in the climate crisis. Many schools have yet to incorporate into their curricula the relationship between human influences on the climate and global inequalities created by colonial legacies. There are few case studies which address this squarely at an appropriate level.

This project builds on the Decolonising Peace Education in Africa project (DEPA). We plan to draw on qualitative data and visual materials (from the DEPA project) relating to the impact of climate change on the lived experiences of people and places in Africa.

 

Project objectives

The objectives of the project are to:

  • develop teaching materials for a Key Stage 3 scheme of work engaging with DEPA data and materials
  • produce accompanying teacher CPD on how to use these materials
  • offer free online and face-to-face training to teachers
  • trial and evaluate teaching materials by teachers from diverse backgrounds
  • build sustainable links between the GA and teachers in Africa by hosting online networking meetings.

 

Given that the climate crisis is an urgent global challenge, it is important to provide non-Eurocentric teaching materials on the climate crisis for schools (See APPG on Africa 2022).

Our project will develop decolonial and EDI teaching materials on the climate crisis in the case study country of Cameroon, using DEPA materials and data. We aim to transform the content of climate change teaching (KS3) in UK schools, and also train a new generation of geography teachers who will be sensitised to decolonial curricula and pedagogies for school geography, EDI and anti-racism.

The materials produced as part of GICC will be accompanied by a teacher guide and CPD sessions offered to a large cohort of GA members and non-members.

The project duration is short, and the GA will issue regular updates on progress when the project is underway via a project blog. Do keep an eye on this and on social media for invitations from the GA to obtain the teaching materials and to participate in CPD, which will be free, and both online and face-to-face.

*DEPA (2020-2024) aims to explore how African knowledges and beliefs can decolonise pedagogies around how peace is taught and incorporated into education in Africa. Dr Cin is the UK Co-I on this project.

 

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