Educational Systems and Climate Change

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Helpdesk Query:

Conduct a literature review focusing on: 1) Impact of climate/environmental change on education systems in developing countries 2) The correlation between scientific literacy and attitudes to the environment 3) Evidence on climate/environment programmes in developing countries.


UNICEF include chronic environmental degradation and climate-related hazards among the many challenges that can prevent children from finishing school. Children are powerful agents of change, and studies have found that many children can be extraordinarily resilient in the face of significant challenges. Providing children with empowering and relevant education on disasters and climate change in a child-friendly school environment can reduce their vulnerability to risk while contributing to sustainable development for their communities.

Findings on the correlation between scientific literacy and attitudes to the environment include:

  • Environmental projects in schools in Finland have been found to enhance students’ interest in environmental issues.
  • Research has found that environmental knowledge has a significant indirect relationship with environmental attitudes and responsibility in an Environmental Literacy Components Model.
  • Research in the US suggests improving the clarity of scientific information may not increase concern for climate change as the debate features cultural meaning. Communicators should create a deliberative climate in which accepting the best available science does not threaten any group’s values.
  • Participants in a US citizen science programme for conservation literacy and scientific knowledge had increased awareness of a specific issue but little change in behaviour.
PDF - 230 KB

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