Enhancing physical geography schools outreach: Insights from co-production and storytelling narratives

Adamson, Kathryn, Lane, Timothy, De Meyer, Kris, Carney, Matthew, Oppenheim, Leonora, Panitz, Sina, Price, Hannah, Smith, Emma and Watson, Gregory (2021) Enhancing physical geography schools outreach: Insights from co-production and storytelling narratives. Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment. 030913332110176. ISSN 0309-1333 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/03091333211017698


Global environmental change is one of the most pressing issues facing future generations. Equipping schoolchildren with a clear understanding of physical geography is therefore a key educational priority. Effectively engaging schoolchildren with complex scientific ideas can be challenging, but with the appropriate tools, scientists can play a valuable role in developing meaningful science communication experiences. Climate Explorers addressed these issues by forging a collaboration between physical geography and social science academics, and 320 UK school students and their teachers in seven primary (elementary) schools. Using insights from co-production techniques and storytelling, the project aimed to 1) produce new open access, online climate science education resources, and 2) test co-production and storytelling approaches to physical geography science engagement. Our findings demonstrated that school children responded especially well to working with ‘real life’ scientists, where meaningful and memorable educational interactions were forged through the use of narratives, personal experiences and tailored language. Here we summarise our approach, and provide templates that can be readily applied by scientists working across the physical geography spectrum anywhere in the world. The flexibility of the templates means that they can be adapted and developed for a range of formats, from small-scale community workshops to national-scale educational initiatives, for delivery both in-person or online. We hope that our approach will provide a springboard to transform and enhance physical geography science communication more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Natural Environmental Research Council grant (Public Engagement Pilot 2016_077).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Schools outreach, science communication, public engagement, physical geography education, climate change
Subjects: X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 14:18
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 16:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46503

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