Thursday, 4 November 2010
This blog is the forerunner for a book we are writing called Children, Citizenship and Environment: nurturing a democratic imagination in a changing world.
Children, Citizenship and Environment is written for researchers, teachers, parents and community groups who want to support children growing up in a changing environment, to learn how to make a difference democratically on issues which matter to them.
I argue that to address far-reaching, complex environmental problems effectively in the future, young citizens will need fewer lessons in turning off the lights, and more opportunities to nurture a democratic imagination.
The new, complex problems that face children as they grow up like climate change, youth unemplyment, food insecurity and growing social inequality are problems that will require new citizenship skills. To address these problems, citizens will need skills of critical thinking, reflective action, effective listening, communication, and the ability to reason about justice. To add to this daunting list, citizens who want to make difference democratically about global change will need the virtues of empathy and tolerance, co-operation, moral reasoning, determination and courage and the ability to live and act within material limits- easy isn’t it?!
Over the next few months we welcome your thoughts and ideas as we explore and share new kinds of democratic thinking that might help children growing up as democratic citizens to think about and act on environmental problems more effectively.