Pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels, mitigating the large-scale emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is needed. To contribute as a citizen, besides mitigating CO2 actions at individual and household levels, regional actions should be planned and implemented. Therefore, in this research, we developed a climate change capacity-building program for nurturing citizens’ skills to plan and implement efficient CO2 mitigation measures at the regional level and evaluated the effectiveness of the program.
We adopted multiple evaluation methods. One is to evaluate the change in learners’ competencies before and after the program by utilizing a self-check sheet developed by Takahashi and Hoffmann (2019). The second method is to compare the comments discussed related to the work produced by groups in this program. We supplementally referenced the questionnaire results and the statements made during the group discussion.
As a result, it is indicated that this program is effective to strengthen the required competency for designing and implementing regional climate change measures. Additionally, to quantify the measures and contribute to mitigating CO2 emissions as the ideation period progresses, learners discuss measures that are more detailed and conscious of various actors.
Serious efforts need to be made with respect to the climate crisis that is becoming ever more severe. Given the world’s current situation, it is necessary to transform people’s lifestyles so as to construct sustainable societies worldwide. In this study, we analyzed the transformation process of consciousness and action for the purpose of developing a transformative learning program. Our findings are as follows:
(1) We found two types of consciousness transformation process: the transformation of a sense of value through notification from a social problem; and the transformation of a viewpoint through notification from a new choice in the way of living.
(2) We found the importance of four types of support for eliminating the disincentive of the transformation process of action: role model, navigator, partner, and supporter.
(3) We found two examples of the transformation process of consciousness and action: short-time transformation and gradual transformation. In the case of a person who doesn’t realize the transformation process of action despite a deadlock in life, the acquisition of skills and the development of a human network through external training prove effective in preparing for the transformation.
(4) We found two paths: the transformation of consciousness makes a transformation of action; whilst the transformation of action makes a transformation of consciousness. A limited time trial can bring about real action.
This article reviews the historical development of epistemological paradigms in the research on environmental education (EE) with emphasis on the potential of critical realism, which has gained scholarly attention over the past two decades. The study aims to achieve this objective by examining the broad literature regarding the social scientific perspectives on the environment in areas such as environmental sociology, political ecology, environmental politics and EE, because these fields have experienced an increased influence of critical realism. As a background to this trend, the article illustrates that critical realism has its merits when dealing with environmental issues (or ‘environmental knowledge’) by providing a theoretical basis for understanding their socially constructed aspects without overlooking realistic approaches, thus enabling interdisciplinary and mixed-method inquiries. Such strengths are essential to the research on EE and practice thereof. Despite the significant potential of critical realism, this study also indicates the importance of methodological discussions for further acceptance of this approach in EE research because, similar to other epistemological positions, critical realism provides unique conditions and constraints for research activities.
We conducted an environmental education session for children on the benefits and environmental risks of detergents in order to help them understand the so-called “detergent dilemma” and the associated water pollution problem. A total of 131 fourth-grade students participated in the session. The educational program included (1) a lecture on the basic knowledge, benefits, and environmental risks associated with detergents; (2) experiments to observe the emulsification of various detergents and to evaluate their detergency; (3) experiments to develop a new detergent that has higher detergency and lower environmental impact than linear alkylbenzene sulfonates, which are the main components of synthetic detergents; and (4) a lecture disseminating more in-depth knowledge about detergents. The children who accomplished the misson of the experiments perceived that the water pollution problem could be solved, even though they conceded the detergent dilemma. We have concluded that setting a concrete target that children can achieve fosters their confidence in solving problems.