International Journal of Elementary Education

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9-10-Year-Old Children’s Understanding of Climate Change

Received: 8 February 2024    Accepted: 27 February 2024    Published: 20 March 2024
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Abstract

Recognizing the need to educate young students about climate change, there is ongoing debate regarding the appropriate age and pedagogical approaches for its introduction. Scholars differ in their views on whether to postpone climate change education until higher grade levels due to concerns about children’s cognitive and emotional readiness or to advocate for earlier involvement as a means of fostering civic engagement. To contribute on this discussion, this small-scale case study engaged 7 Grade 3-4 students to explore their perspectives and understandings about climate change. Over a two-month period, these students actively engaged in five one-hour sessions focused on climate-related topics, including weather, climate, and greenhouse effects. Group conversations and drawing activities were employed to foster an environment where the children could freely express their perspectives and experiences. The collected data included both students’ drawings and video recordings capturing session activities and group interactions. The children in this study demonstrated critical awareness and concerns about climate change. They also expressed diverse conceptual understandings spanning from misconceptions and evolving ideas to sophisticated insights rooted in their experiences. Based on the findings, efforts are made to comprehend whether and how discussions about climate change can be initiated with Grade 3-4 students. The research concludes by highlighting the need for more comprehensive studies to investigate age-appropriate K-6 approaches and curriculum that address both the cognitive and emotional aspects of climate change education.

DOI 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13
Published in International Journal of Elementary Education (Volume 13, Issue 1, March 2024)
Page(s) 13-22
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Climate Change Education, Young Children, Qualitative Case Study

References
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Cite This Article
  • APA Style

    Kim, M., Jin, Q. (2024). 9-10-Year-Old Children’s Understanding of Climate Change. International Journal of Elementary Education, 13(1), 13-22. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13

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    ACS Style

    Kim, M.; Jin, Q. 9-10-Year-Old Children’s Understanding of Climate Change. Int. J. Elem. Educ. 2024, 13(1), 13-22. doi: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13

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    AMA Style

    Kim M, Jin Q. 9-10-Year-Old Children’s Understanding of Climate Change. Int J Elem Educ. 2024;13(1):13-22. doi: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13,
      author = {Mijung Kim and Qingna Jin},
      title = {9-10-Year-Old Children’s Understanding of Climate Change},
      journal = {International Journal of Elementary Education},
      volume = {13},
      number = {1},
      pages = {13-22},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ijeedu.20241301.13},
      abstract = {Recognizing the need to educate young students about climate change, there is ongoing debate regarding the appropriate age and pedagogical approaches for its introduction. Scholars differ in their views on whether to postpone climate change education until higher grade levels due to concerns about children’s cognitive and emotional readiness or to advocate for earlier involvement as a means of fostering civic engagement. To contribute on this discussion, this small-scale case study engaged 7 Grade 3-4 students to explore their perspectives and understandings about climate change. Over a two-month period, these students actively engaged in five one-hour sessions focused on climate-related topics, including weather, climate, and greenhouse effects. Group conversations and drawing activities were employed to foster an environment where the children could freely express their perspectives and experiences. The collected data included both students’ drawings and video recordings capturing session activities and group interactions. The children in this study demonstrated critical awareness and concerns about climate change. They also expressed diverse conceptual understandings spanning from misconceptions and evolving ideas to sophisticated insights rooted in their experiences. Based on the findings, efforts are made to comprehend whether and how discussions about climate change can be initiated with Grade 3-4 students. The research concludes by highlighting the need for more comprehensive studies to investigate age-appropriate K-6 approaches and curriculum that address both the cognitive and emotional aspects of climate change education.
    },
     year = {2024}
    }
    

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  • TY  - JOUR
    T1  - 9-10-Year-Old Children’s Understanding of Climate Change
    AU  - Mijung Kim
    AU  - Qingna Jin
    Y1  - 2024/03/20
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    N1  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13
    DO  - 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13
    T2  - International Journal of Elementary Education
    JF  - International Journal of Elementary Education
    JO  - International Journal of Elementary Education
    SP  - 13
    EP  - 22
    PB  - Science Publishing Group
    SN  - 2328-7640
    UR  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijeedu.20241301.13
    AB  - Recognizing the need to educate young students about climate change, there is ongoing debate regarding the appropriate age and pedagogical approaches for its introduction. Scholars differ in their views on whether to postpone climate change education until higher grade levels due to concerns about children’s cognitive and emotional readiness or to advocate for earlier involvement as a means of fostering civic engagement. To contribute on this discussion, this small-scale case study engaged 7 Grade 3-4 students to explore their perspectives and understandings about climate change. Over a two-month period, these students actively engaged in five one-hour sessions focused on climate-related topics, including weather, climate, and greenhouse effects. Group conversations and drawing activities were employed to foster an environment where the children could freely express their perspectives and experiences. The collected data included both students’ drawings and video recordings capturing session activities and group interactions. The children in this study demonstrated critical awareness and concerns about climate change. They also expressed diverse conceptual understandings spanning from misconceptions and evolving ideas to sophisticated insights rooted in their experiences. Based on the findings, efforts are made to comprehend whether and how discussions about climate change can be initiated with Grade 3-4 students. The research concludes by highlighting the need for more comprehensive studies to investigate age-appropriate K-6 approaches and curriculum that address both the cognitive and emotional aspects of climate change education.
    
    VL  - 13
    IS  - 1
    ER  - 

    Copy | Download

Author Information
  • Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

  • Department of Education, Cape Breton University, Sydney, Canada

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