Climate change + me: children’s and young people’s voices in holocene and anthropocene times

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Cutter-Mackenzie, A & Rousell, D 2014, 'Climate change + me: children’s and young people’s voices in Holocene and Anthropocene times', Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference, Brisbane, QLD, Australian Association for Research in Education, Canberra, ACT.


As it stands, climate change is absent within the Australian curriculum for children under 1 The Australian curriculum utilises watered-down language such as ‘environmental change’ instead of well-recognised and accepted terminology in climate change science (Whitehouse, 2013). The curriculum in many respects is blindly stuck in the Holocene past. Such revelations support Kagawa and Selby’s (2009, p.242) work contending that ‘climate change is too urgent and important to suffer 'death by formal curriculum'… calling for emergent curriculum approaches that embed climate change learning and action within community contexts’. This paper is drawn from the initial findings of a NSW Environmental Trust grant entitled Climate Change + Me. The first stage of the project is a 1.5 year participatory youth-led research project which deeply considers children and young people’s (9-14 years) beliefs and concerns about climate change. The research methodology is child-framed in nature utilising visual ethnography (Barratt, Cutter-Mackenzie & Barratt, 2013). In this session we represent our co-researchers’ voices drawing upon their narratives and images. We then consider such research in the context of the Holoscence, Anthropocene and broader environmental philosophy, history and education.