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Educational policy and practice for a changing climate: What are the options?

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This project addresses questions about what changes or adaptations our education system may need to make in the immediate and short-to-medium term future, in response to climate change. The goal is to compile an overview of current thinking in this area, and present educators and educational policymakers with a set of options to consider. 

The project is guided by the research questions below. These questions may be subject to further refinement during the scoping phase. The project will not necessarily address all the questions in the first year.

  • According to national, international, and indigenous perspectives, how could Aotearoa’s education systems and policies respond to climate change?
  • To what extent is climate change considered an urgent issue or priority in the education system (for schools, kura, and in terms of system-level educational policy and planning)
  • What can be learned from kura Māori and kaupapa Māori approaches and responses?
  • What are the implications or impacts of student-, school-,  and community-led climate responses for the educational system in Aotearoa New Zealand?
  • What might education look like in Aotearoa New Zealand, if climate change mitigation and adaptation were factored into policy and practice across the system?

The project started in July 2019 with a scoping phase, initiation of a literature review, and a few questions added to the 2019 NZCER National Survey of primary and intermediate schools.

Approximately 20 key informant interviews are being undertaken between October and December 2019. Five priority perspectives for the initial interviews are:  Youth perspectives, Māori perspectives, Pacific New Zealander perspectives, System/policy/academic perspectives, and Educator perspectives.

The first report from the project is expected in early 2020.

If you are interested in following, or contributing to this project, please contact 

Educational policy and practice for a changing climate: What are the options? project publications: