Facing Anxiety in Climate Change Education: From Therapeutic Practice to Hopeful Transgressive Learning


  • Maria Ojala Uppsala University Linnaeus University


This article discusses the need for critical emotional awareness in environmental and sustainability education that aspires to result in transgressive learning and transformation. The focus is on the emotions of anxiety/worry and hope, and their role in climate change education. By disrupting unsustainable norms and habits, hope for another way of being could be evoked, but transgressive learning can also trigger anxiety due to the undecided nature of the future and the gravity of the climate problem. The objective is, on the one hand, to point to the importance of critical awareness of these emotions and the need to disrupt unsustainable emotion regulation strategies when aiming for transformation, and, on the other, to provide suggestions for including these dimensions in climate change education.

Author Biography

Maria Ojala, Uppsala University Linnaeus University

Maria Ojala PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor Department of Education, Uppsala University Department of Psychology, Linnaeus University