“Taking back a small bit of power”: the (un)making of ecological education

Authors: Cheryl McGeachan*, University of Glasgow
Topics: Political Geography
Keywords: school gardens, education, world building, ecological justice
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 43
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Climate Strikes that took place across the world in 2019 symbolised the importance of young people and education to the (re)imagining of ecologically-just worlds and new solidarities. Drawing from the experiences of a newly initiated university programme inspired by the energy of these strikes – called the Green Technicians – this paper highlights the power of school gardens as key sites of educational reform and climate action. We argue that school gardens are not only important sites of radical reform and progressive politics, but also crucial worldly tools to inspire and engender new forms of ecological education. Through attention to students own experiences of the Green Technician programme in Spring 2020, we demonstrate the varying ways in which school gardens, even when not physically accessed due to restrictions cause by the pandemic, become important spaces for developing “radical hope” (Gillespie, 2020) in the face of climate breakdown. Through the example of the Green Technicians, we seek to argue that school gardens have a crucial role in future educational reform where ecological justice can be practised, imagined, and (re)made.

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