The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

An Investigation into Primary Children’s Understanding of Climate Change Through Their Writings

Eva Duran Eppler, University of Roehampton (United Kingdom)

Wolfgang Mann, University of Roehampton (United Kingdom)

Virginia Lamb, University of Roehampton (United Kingdom)


The paper presents an investigation into how how primary school children communicate their understanding of climate change. To achieve this aim, we have already collected data via a community-based website, 100-word challenge (100WC), which supports children in developing their literacy skills by providing weekly creative writing challenges. For ten consecutive weeks, children have submitted written pieces up to 100 words in response to prompts (verbal,  pictural or video) that are related to climate change.  This data now needs to be coded and analysed to evaluate primary school children’s understanding of selected climate change issues and what motivates them to actively counteract climate change. The written pieces will be analysed, using content and thematic analysis. In addition to the written data from students, we will collect data through Focus Groups/interviews from teachers, who participate in the 100-word challenge. The teachers’ data will shed light on the types of coverage by schools about climate change and potential influences that teachers and pedagogies have on children’s concepts of and communications about climate change. Findings from this research will be disseminated to schools, parents and pupils and will likely have an impact on educational practice at the national and international levels. 

Keywords Creative writing, primary education, climate change

Moser, Susanne C., and Lisa Dilling. "COMMUNICATING CHANGE SCIENCE:-CLOSING ACTION CLIMATE." The Oxford handbook of climate change and society (2011): 161.
Fleming, Aysha, et al. "Challenging dominant discourses of climate change." Climatic Change 127.3 (2014): 407-418.
Deignan, Alice, Elena Semino, and Shirley-Anne Paul. "Metaphors of climate science in three genres: Research articles, educational texts, and secondary school student talk." Applied Linguistics 40.2 (2019): 379-403.

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