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Webinar: Introducing a Climate Anxiety Toolkit and Generating Insights from a Co-Evaluation Process
November 17, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm ESTFree
In this webinar, the presenters will introduce a recently developed climate toolkit as well as conduct a co-evaluation process of the resource with participants. The webinar will draw on insights from participants about teaching climate change and related ‘crisis’ subjects and generate ideas on how to engage the personal and professional agency of higher education students. The resource, Staying Sane in the Face of Climate Change: A Toolkit of Emerging Ideas to Support Emotional Resilience, Mental Health and Action was developed by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney. It is a response to the emergence of climate anxiety in the student body and the recognition that new skills are required to face challenging subject material that illuminates the current climate crisis. There is a shortage of tools and resources available that specifically address the experience of higher education teachers and learners. The toolkit is, therefore, an attempt to integrate insights from the emergent field of climate psychology into teaching in order to build the capacity of educators and students of ‘crisis’ subjects to remain positive, resilient, and effective. Developing a resilience mindset for both educators and students is vital to negotiate our uncertain future.
As a pedagogical tool, Staying Sane aims to equip educators, students and future graduates of the ‘Climate Generation’ with resources, recommendations and guidance to:
- Negotiate emotional responses to crises and help address climate anxiety/eco-depression;
- Participate in meaningful collective action and engaged citizenship; and
- Translate educational experiences into empowered prospective careers and develop effective climate communication skills.
The interactive webinar will consist of three key parts:
- Part 1 – Investigate crisis subjects in teaching and learning in higher education.
We will explore the discourse of ‘crisis’ through facilitated dialogue and garner insights from participants engaged with the teaching and learning of crisis subjects, such as climate change, biodiversity loss etc. in order to share pedagogical strategies.
- Part 2 – Present elements of the climate anxiety toolkit.
We will discuss the co-design process employed to engage students and educators in the development of the resource and delve into a few of the key learnings from our research and the co-design process.
- Part 3 – A facilitated co-evaluation of the toolkit with participants, including a collaborative feedback process.
We will engage webinar participants in a process for evaluation with a view to share strategies that support the personal and professional agency of students and educators.
Tania Leimbach, Research Associate, Climate Justice Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney
Tania Leimbach has worked at the intersection of environmental health, climate justice and sustainability for several years. Her research and creative practice are focused on conceiving effective environmental communications and promoting climate solutions. Tania completed her doctoral studies at the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at UTS in 2015. As a research institute, ISF encourages knowledge integration to address real-world contemporary challenges. Tania is presently a research associate at the Climate Justice Research Centre in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at UTS. She is researching the affective dimension of “crisis” subjects and developing tools to support teachers and students in teaching climate change. She has 10 years of successful teaching experience as subject coordinator, studio facilitator and lecturer. She is a passionate educator committed to creative forms of education that meet the needs of the 21st century. Tania is currently publishing her thesis with Palgrave Macmillan and lecturing in the School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney.
Jennifer Kent, Research Associate, Climate Justice Research Centre, University of Technology Australia
Dr Jennifer Kent is a sessional academic with the Climate Justice Research Centre at the University of Technology Sydney with a background in community education and Education for Sustainability. Her research interests span the areas of sustainability transitions, grassroots social innovations and deliberative democracy. In particular, she is interested in understanding how grassroots collective voluntary action that addresses the wicked challenge of climate change and continued fossil fuel extraction can contribute to better climate change governance. She is an experienced social researcher and has conducted case study research, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, and document analysis in projects related to climate change, sustainability and deliberative democracy.