The CC + Me Research Program is not simply a project. It is made up of projects currently taking place in Australia and the UK. The intent of the program is to facilitate and support ongoing research in climate change education for and by children and young people.
From 2013-2017, the first CC + ME project (funded by the NSW Environmental Trust) had four distinct stages and objectives:
- Understand the diversity of children and young people’s awareness and attitudes that are supportive of positive climate change action in Northern, NSW. This stage involved training local primary and secondary students as co-researchers to investigate climate change awareness in their communities, and publish their findings on the CC + ME blog.
- Map, represent and inform children and young people’s awareness, attitudes and actions towards climate change in Northern, NSW. This stage involved community exhibitions of climate change research by children and young people. Over 10,000 people visited the exhibitions. It also involved the development of the CC + ME Avatar, an online game and multimedia learning experience which enables children and young people to engage with real-life issues around climate change.
- Develop a child-centred climate change curriculum which is now permanently available via this site. The curriculum and support resources were co-designed with children and young people, and are designed to support ongoing environmental behaviour change and improvements toward climate change.
- Network and empower children and young people in the community to voice and action their climate change issues and concerns. This step involved connecting children and young people across the northern NSW region in relation to the climate change curriculum and its implementation in primary and secondary schools. The network continues via the Australian Climate Change Kids – ACCK Facebook page.
Another project (2018-2019) was led by Dr David Rousell entitled ‘Local Alternatives: Young people’s perceptions of climate change in the local area of Hulme’. It was funded by MMU’s Education and Social Research Institute. The Local Alternatives project explores young people’s perceptions and experiences of climate change in partnership with a community arts organisation in Hulme (Z-Arts). The project builds on the initial CC+Me project (2013-2017) on young people’s responses to climate change in regional Australian communities. The project has two objectives:
- To explore and give voice to young people’s experiences, perceptions, and conceptualisations of climate change in the local area of Hulme; and
- To develop participatory research methods that integrate the environmental arts and humanities with environmental sensing technologies (measuring local air quality and climate conditions)
More recently, Professor Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, Dr David Rousell, Maia Osborn and Thilinika Wijesinghe initiated Climate Change and Me 2.0 — a project which supports children and young people to co-design and develop a climate change app. The project is funded by the Australian Association for Environmental Education. Like David’s local alternatives project above, this project builds upon the initial CC + Me project (2013-2017) to explore children and young people’s responses to climate change, and support them to raise awareness and inspire meaningful action. Although the focus of the app was originally intended to reveal a person’s climate change personality, footprint and suggested actions, we quickly decided to provide the children and young people with more freedom to devise the purpose and focus of the app themselves. There are few quality climate change education app resources, making this project timely and highly novel in supporting environmental educators in climate change education.
NEXT: Meet The Team