Conceptualising uncertainty and the role of the teacher for a politics of climate change within and beyond the institution of the school

Kirby, Perpetua and Webb, Rebecca (2021) Conceptualising uncertainty and the role of the teacher for a politics of climate change within and beyond the institution of the school. Educational Review. ISSN 0013-1911

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Abstract

This predominantly conceptual paper explores “uncertainty”: it foregrounds students engaged with climate change, in all its socio-political and more-than-human complexity, as political subjects within and beyond the school. It combines conceptual work on Rancièrian political philosophy with empirical work on teaching climate change in a range of schools in the Southeast of England. The paper makes the case for the educational importance of engaging with a Rancièrian logic of politics as a democratic mode of twenty-first century existential engagement. This takes seriously citizenship as a dynamic of schooling, which occurs through momentary rupture that can never be fully pre-determined or foreclosed. The paper applies ideas of a “thing-centred pedagogy” to pay deep attention to the unbounded subject matter of climate change. It explores how such an approach opens the scope of engaging with issues of adapting to, and living with, the ontological uncertainties of human-induced climate change, including the tensions and complexities of how to act within and beyond the school. This includes political subjectification as transformation, by which students (and teachers) take up their freedom to act. The paper integrates interviews with nine teaching staff working with students aged between 4–18 years-of-age, including in local authority controlled schools, academies and the private sector. While the fieldwork was conducted in England, its conceptual emphasis has international relevance, focusing as it does on a politics of schooling for global climate change.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 18 May 2021 07:47
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 09:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/99214

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