1st Edition

Teaching Climate Change Science, Stories, Justice

By Vandana Singh Copyright 2024
    246 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Teaching Climate Change: Science, Stories, Justice shows educators how climate change can be taught from any disciplinary perspective and in a transdisciplinary way, drawing on examples from the author's own classroom.

    The book sets out a radical vision for climate pedagogy, introducing an innovative framework in which the scientific essentials of climate change are scaffolded via three transdisciplinary meta-concepts: Balance/Imbalance, Critical Thresholds and Complex Interconnections. Author Vandana Singh grounds this theory in practice, drawing on examples from her own classroom to provide implementable ideas for educators, and to demonstrate how climate change can be taught from any disciplinary perspective in a transdisciplinary way. The book also explores the barriers to effective climate education at a macro level, focusing on issues such as climate misinformation/misconception, the exclusion of social and ethical concerns and a focus on technofixes. Singh uses this information to identify four key dimensions for an effective climate pedagogy, in which issues of justice are central: scientific-technological, the transdisciplinary, the epistemological and the psychosocial. This approach is broad and flexible enough to be adapted to different classrooms and contexts.

    Bridging the social and natural sciences, this book will be an essential resource for all climate change educators practicing in both formal and informal settings, as well as for community climate activists.

    Table of Contents


    1.   Ch 1  Introduction: The Climate as Teacher

    2.   Ch 2 What is an Effective Pedagogy of Climate Change?

    3.   Ch 3 Science, but Not Just Science: Whys and Wherefores of a Transdisciplinary Approach

    4.   Ch 4 Science and More than Science: Three Transdisciplinary Meta-Concepts

    5.   Ch 5 The Power of Stories: Foregrounding Justice in the (Science) Classroom

    6.   Ch 6 On Thin Ice: Applying the Framework to the Cryosphere

    7.   Ch 7 Critical and Ethical Thinking About Climate Solutions

    8.   Ch 8 Insights from Other Educators: Reimagining Formal Spaces

    9.   Ch 9  Insights from Other Educators: Climate Education Outside the Walls

    10. Ch 10 Reflection-Diffraction: Endings and Beginnings



    Vandana Singh is a professor of Physics and Environment in the Department of Environment, Society and Sustainability at Framingham State University in Massachusetts, USA. She has been working for over a decade on a transdisciplinary, justice-centered pedagogy of climate change at the intersection of science, society and justice, with particular attention to marginalized communities in India and the United States. She was a 2021 Climate Imagination Fellow at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. She facilitates the Education working group for My Climate Risk, a Lighthouse Activity of the World Climate Research Programme focusing on climate science and communities.

    “This highly original and radical book addresses the rapidly growing need for an accessible climate pedagogy which represents the different dimensions of the climate-change challenge and can be adapted to a variety of contexts.” 

    Ted Shepherd, PhD, Grantham Professor of Climate Science, University of Reading, UK

    “This book elegantly builds on the pedagogic merit of acknowledging the climate system as a teacher.  Weaving together stories of different ways of knowing and being, and of the sciences that speak from within disciplinary and inter-disciplinary boundaries, it gives teachers a conceptual tool kit that helps students see beyond facts and make sense of given structures and networks of interactions and relations.  The richest harvest is that teachers can use this book to open young minds to pluralism, values and justice, instill competencies to question given disciplinary knowledge, and make informed choices today, when climate change challenges all our current frameworks for making sense of the world.”

    Rajeswari S. Raina, PhD, Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, India

    “Written from the perspective of a teacher-scholar, this book demonstrates how it is possible--and why it is imperative--for educators from even the most specialized of scientific disciplines to engage in the transformation of education in an era of climate change. Vandana's message is crystal clear: that teaching climate change must transcend disciplines, disrupt power hierarchies, embrace the complexities of Earth systems and social systems, be radically rooted in climate justice, and be delivered through stories that do not shy away from climate emotion. This book is essential reading for any educator seeking radically new pedagogies that nourish the seeds of transformative climate action.”

    Christina Kwauk, PhD, Social Scientist and Policy Analyst, Founder/Director, Kwauk & Associates; Research Director, Unbounded Associates

    “Educators around the world are beginning to address the climate emergency, and the best examples of climate education interrogate how social inequalities shape the contours of this global problem. This book is a valuable contribution to this growing literature, for Vandana Singh develops a model of justice-based climate education that transcends space, time, and the scholarly disciplines while also taking seriously issues of power and injustice. Educators at all levels will encounter valuable ideas to inform their practice while also learning about how to transform broader educational structures toward a more just and humane future.” 

    Joseph A. Henderson, PhD, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, Paul Smith’s College, Co-editor of Teaching Climate Change in the United States