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Acting on climate: Using dance, digital arts and drama in STEM education


This project extends the impact outcomes of our ongoing collaboration as part of a global, multi-sited ethnographic study led by Professor Kathleen Gallagher (University of Toronto) entitled Global Youth (Digital) Citizen-Artists and their Publics: Performing for Socio-Ecological Justice (SSHRC).

Involving Coventry's Climate Action Network (CAN), locally-based FLUX (an education consultancy specialising in STEM public engagement and creative education) and digital artist Ashley Brown, this multi-arts project invites young people (aged around 14 years old) to explore their understanding of climate change by creating live performance that will be recorded, edited and shared on a digital educational online platform.

Led by Dr Rachel Turner-King (Centre for Education Studies), the project received funding to focus on the ways the dance, drama and digital arts can enhance Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The research team is also working with new partners Lens Change, who possess expertise in videography - an essential component in ensuring high quality digital recordings. Research has shown that ESD is most effective when it is inquiry-based using learner-centred and non-didactic pedagogies (Corney & Reid, 2007).

Working across artforms, the team will utilise playful and energetic methods of engaging non-academic publics in the often gloomy and overwhelming topic of climate change - exploring how we might use the arts to ease 'eco-anxiety' in young people. The workshops will culminate is a live sharing event at an international conference held at Warwick in July as well as a digital educational resource that can be shared regionally, nationally and globally.

Working with local schools to understand and explore multi-arts processes

The project will help us to work with more local schools and teachers, enabling us to better understand the educational and methodological aspects of our collaborative, multi-arts process.

The team will strive to achieve a deeper understanding of the ways drama, dance and digital arts might enhance ESD in the classroom. This project will allow the researchers to extend our already existing Impact study, allowing us to deliver further impact by extending and widening our network in the regional area. In addition, as this project is already connected to a global research study investigating youth eco-citizenship, local schools will have the opportunity to develop links with our research partners based in Canada, Greece, India, Colombia and Taiwan.

This project links to the below Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):