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The (Un)political Perspective on Climate Change in Education — A Systematic Review

  • Mitigating and adapting to climate change requires foundational changes in societies, politics, and economies. Greater effectiveness has been attributed to actions in the public sphere than to the actions of individuals. However, little is known about how climate literacy programs address the political aspects of mitigation and adaptation. The aim of this systematic literature review is to fill this gap and analyze how public-sphere actions on mitigation and adaptation are discussed in climate literacy programs in schools. Based on database searches following PRISMA guidelines we identified 75 empirical studies that met our inclusion criteria. We found that central aspects of climate policy such as the 1.5-degree limit, the IPCC reports, or climate justice are rarely addressed. Whilst responsibility for emissions is attributed to the public sphere, the debate about mitigation usually focuses on the private sphere. Climate change education does not, therefore, correspond to the climate research discourse. We show that effective mitigation and adaptation are based on public-sphere actions and thus conclude that effective climate education should discuss those public actions if it is to be effective. Hence, we propose that climate education should incorporate political literacy to educate climate-literate citizens.

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Author:Johanna Kranz, Martin SchwichowORCiD, Petra Breitenmoser, Kai Niebert
Parent Title (English):Sustainability
Editor:Ute Harms, Hanno Michel
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2022/04/01
Release Date:2023/03/16
Tag:adaptation; climate change; climate change education; climate justice; climate literacy; literature review; mitigation; political education; private and public-sphere action; sustainability education
GND Keyword:-
Article Number:4194
Open Access:Frei zugänglich
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International