Perspectives on climate change education and actions from environmentally conscious youth in British Columbia
This thesis employs mixed methods consisting of an initial survey followed by a focus group looking into the views of youth aged 16-20 regarding climate change education. The guiding question of this research is: What are the views of environmentally conscious youth in British Columbia on climate change education and action? Participants included in this research study are currently in secondary school or had recently graduated from the province of British Columbia’s K-12 system and are currently, or have recently been, involved in environmental organisations. This research employed the methodology of participatory action research with youth as co-researchers from the initial crafting of survey questions through to member checking findings in a focus group. Data were collected using a survey style Google Form which was distributed to environmental group leads around British Columbia and circulated through word of mouth at activist events such as the September, 24th, 2021 School Climate Strike hosted by Fridays4Future-BC. Data revealed youth are disheartened by the current state of climate change and would like climate change to be incorporated into K-12 schooling starting in elementary school with topics to be focused on the science behind climate change as well as solutions. Findings include youth perspectives on schooling and government that are relevant for educators and policymakers involved in climate change education and action. Areas to build on this research include broadening the participants to a general population as a comparison and to extend this research across Canada for interprovincial comparisons.
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