Caring as Class: Resolving the Emotional Paradox of Climate Change Education
The question of what it will take to induce societal transformation in the face of climate change is daunting to consider, intimidating to try and answer in the abstract, and potentially paralyzing to try and address through teaching, research, and practice. That is, in response to the JSE editors’ question, we may be tempted to simply curl up in a ball and rock back and forth in search of temporary comfort and escape.
Yet, in crafting the subtitle for this issue on climate change, JSE’s editorial team has pointed to multiple paths forward: resistance, recuperation, and resilience. Each of those terms have their roots in sustained action, with the Latin meaning of the ‘re’ prefix based in doing again and again (dictionary.com, 1995). The same implication is present with kindred concepts often used in the realm of grappling with climate change like regeneration, reparations, restoration, recentering, and renewal. Altogether the emphasis on sustained actions, with each term in its own way looking both backwards and forwards in time and knowledge, raises a very direct challenge for educators: how do we help students (and ourselves) prepare to engage in sustained action in the face of climate change and its root causes of extraction, inequity, racism and colonialism?
In this article, we describe our response to this question, admittedly very much a work in progress…