People’s Ideas about Climate Change: A Source of Inspiration for the Creation of Educational Programs

Diane Pruneau, Linda Liboiron, Émilie Vrain, La Biosphère, Hélène Gravel, Wendy Bourque, Joanne Langis


The global nature of the phenomenon, the complexity of climatic knowledge, and the difficulty of modifying human behaviour complicate the choice of efficient strategies in climate change education. A qualitative study conducted with children, teenagers, and adults allowed researchers to discover people’s ideas (knowledge, opinions, feelings) about the phenomenon: adults, some teenagers, and few children have heard of climate change. Participants can describe the problem without being able to identify its causes and consequences. Climate change arouses little worry because many participants estimate that the phenomenon will have no tangible consequences on their life. Teenagers are less confident than adults regarding the possible mobilization of the population to decrease their impact on the climate. Finally, educational strategies trickling down from these results are proposed.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352