Scientists have been sounding the alarm on the climate crisis for nearly three decades, and we still face major challenges. A group of Arizona State University educators are reaching out to youth for solutions.
“Scientists have warned us that the planet’s systems are dangerously close to irreversible tipping points. Children and youth are well aware that we live in environmentally precarious times and that they face an uncertain future,” said sustainability scholar Iveta Silova, professor and director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Global Education at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. “Yet, schools and universities continue to reproduce the hierarchical ‘man over nature’ relationships in an ongoing pursuit of economic growth.”
She believes this requires a complete paradigm shift and that our very future survival depends on our capacity to make this shift.
Which is why Silova is participating as a research director for a new ASU initiative called “Turn It Around! Flashcards for Education Futures,” a card deck that calls for climate action and ecological justice. ASU and the Artists’ Literacies Institute, with the support of UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative and Open Society Foundations, are creating this card deck to present to policymakers and global leaders at the 2021 United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.
“Art is essential to reimagining education and how we think about sustainability. We will need to harness all of our creativity to address the challenges we are facing; we want to move young people in that direction,” said sustainability scholar Adriene Jenik, an artist and professor with ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, who is the creative producer on the initiative. “The cards will not only be given to policymakers but will also be used as pedagogical tools by teachers at any level. The idea is to provoke classroom discussions about addressing the climate disruption.”