Challenging the Climate Crisis: Children’s Agency to Tackle Policy Underpinned by Learning for Transformation

Project funders

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Research partners/collaborators

  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • Tampere University
  • University of Genoa

Project duration

1 December 2020 to 30 November 2023

Project summary

The CCC-CATAPULT project is centred around co-creating new knowledge through the ‘eyes and ears’ of children, teachers and other supporters of learning on how they situate and make sense of their lives in relation to climate complexity. Using a youth-led methodology, which involves engaging young people as active decision-makers and co-researchers, this work is critically examining educational influences on young people’s learning and agency at a time when ‘eco-anxiety’ is becoming a defining characteristic of the climate emergency.

The project has two overarching areas of inquiry:

  • first, how do children, teachers and other key actors shaping the learning of children, understand the value-action gap in tackling the climate emergency and,
  • second, what might legitimate transformation look like in relation to reducing this value-action gap?

This project has been developed in connection with a wider interdisciplinary consortium, bringing together researchers and project partners working across Ireland, Finland and Italy.

Read the news release about this project.

For further information on the project, please contact Professor Lindsey McEwen.

Key outputs and findings

Due to this project still being in its early stages, anticipated key outputs are as follows:

  • Public engagement events co-led by young people across each project location
  • Co-produced conference papers and panel presentations
  • Educational toolkits and resources
  • Policy recommendations and reports
  • Creative research outputs including blogs, photography, artworks, and videos
  • Peer-reviewed publications 

There are currently no specific research findings to record. However, expected key findings will contribute to areas of knowledge including, but not limited to, eco-anxiety, climate values and beliefs, intercultural education, worldview education, climate education, creative and co-productive methodologies, citizen engagement, and intergenerational learning. Overall, through its variety of research outputs, this project will provide insight into both young people’s experiences of and agency in relation to the climate crisis, and educational and policy-based changes which can help reduce the value-action gap in relation to climate challenges.