Enacting climate change education through representing scientists’ practices in classrooms

The challenge

This international, collaborative project responds to the question: “How can school science prepare young people for 21st Century futures marked by the major socio-ecological challenges of the Anthropocene?”. Our prior research indicates that scientists’ research and development (R&D) can be translated into highly engaging and educational teaching and learning sequences for both primary and secondary school students. Through representing contemporary socio-scientific understandings and data-driven epistemic practices in climate science linked contexts, knowledge, skills, values, and agency can be developed in students and also teachers. Contemporary processes of representing and translating science R&D into student learning via curriculum-informed/informing education design will be collaboratively researched across three countries – Australia, Finland, and Taiwan.

Project overview

The research focus of the project revolves around four questions:

  1. To investigate co-design approaches to representing, translating, and communicating science knowledge and practice to develop learning sequences that position science as central to responding to Anthropocene challenges.
  2. To investigate how to productively incorporate contemporary scientific research and practice related to Anthropocene challenges into school science, developing a climate change education progression model for upper primary to lower secondary years (5–10) of schooling in varied socio-cultural settings.
  3. To develop approaches to teaching and learning and teacher professional learning about climate related science focused on content, procedural, and epistemic knowledges, values, and student decision-making with a focus on developing student and teacher agency.
  4. To investigate the progressive development of students’ citizenship competencies through critical engagement with socio-scientific reasoning and practices in relation to Anthropocene challenges.

We are using a collaborative design research methodology to work with scientists, teachers and students to translate climate related science R&D into school learning sequences. The process of working with teachers and students will be tracked ethnographically using field notes, video capture of classroom interactions, and focus group and individual interviews. The insights generated will be used to develop teacher education approaches and resources.


Strategies for teachers and students to engage directly with scientists’, climate-related science, and science practices in-situ leads to more robust science learning. We will develop a globally informed climate change education progression framework to enhance contemporary science classroom practice. Supported by our international Advisory Panel, we will co-design teaching and learning sequences with teachers across the three countries with a strong focus on student agency in response to Anthropocene socio-ecological challenges. Findings will inform teacher education and teacher professional learning. The research will develop ways of communicating the concerns and findings through social media and a range of communication channels.

Project team

Deakin Distinguished Professor Russell Tytler – Deakin University
Associate Professor Peta White – Deakin University
Professor Maija Aksela – Helsinki University
Professor Ying-Shao Hsu – Taiwan National Normal University
Amrita Kamath – Research Assistant
Lisa Wajngarten – Research Assistant


Australian Research Council Discovery Project




2023 – 2025

More information

Enacting Climate Change Education


climate change, science education, education and Anthropocene, community partnerships