Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Transformative Education and Social Change
Dana Morrison, PhD
John Elmore, PhD
Jason Wozniak, PhD
With the ever-present pressure of the climate crisis intensifying, the mental health impacts of climate change are becoming much more prevalent and severe. Eco-anxiety, the anxiety and fear people feel about climate change, is a rising issue in educational spaces, adding another concern to the overflowing responsibilities of educators. In this thesis I examine how educators can utilize collective action, emotionality, ecopedagogy, place-based education, and Indigenous Knowledge to face eco-anxiety in their classrooms and help students feel more hopeful and empowered. I analyze how the history of public perception of climate change leads teachers to shy away from emotionality in science, and how the military-industrial-academic complex has contributed to standardization of education for profit in a neoliberal system. I contextualize eco-anxiety within the current literature surrounding it, elaborate upon critical pedagogical practices for teachers to use to combat it, and analyze the hidden role social media has in cultivating eco-anxiety. To address eco-anxiety in education, I propose a workshop series within a context of Critical Action Research designed to empower educators with transformative pedagogical practices that will help them face their own eco-anxiety, support their students, and make their classrooms hopeful, transformative spaces for combating the climate crisis.
Jackson, Tessa, "Facing Eco-Anxiety in Education: Empowering Educators with Collective Action, Emotionality, and Transformative Pedagogical Practices" (2023). West Chester University Master’s Theses. 281.