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Centre for Global Education/Sustainability Frontiers Seminar, Derry, Northern Ireland (November 23, 2010)

by | 6th December 2010

What Climate Change Brings to the Development Education Agenda


David Selby facilitated the above seminar, a collaborative venture between Sustainability Frontiers and the Centre for Global Education, Belfast, at the Junction, a community relations and peace building centre in Derry, Northern Ireland, from 10.00am to 4.00pm on 23 November 2010.  He argued that runaway climate change calls for a serious revisiting of the assumptions, key messages, frameworks and focuses of development (and global) education. Climate change cannot be laid aside by development educators as an ‘environmental’ issue and, hence, peripheral to their field of vision.  He argued that the climate threat raises fundamental questions about the human condition, questions that are central to development education and to all its ‘sister’ educations.  The seminar was a highly interactive event with much of the time given over to activities and discussion broken up by short presentations scattered throughout.  Participants went away with a portfolio of activities for use in teacher and community education and the school classroom.

Feedback from the eighteen seminar participants from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was highly positive:

‘I was interested in how to turn the despair and cynicism I often feel into positive action and even optimism.  I feel I received beyond my expectations in today’s seminar, and the information will be useful for future workshops and talks, especially within the Transition Town movement.’

‘I liked the information and facts presented by David.  He was a lovely facilitator, however a few times I felt quite disempowered as a development educator, activist and optimist.’

‘I was interested in a different method of approaching climate change in education.’

‘I enjoyed the discussion on DE and sustainable growth.  There are lots of possibilities for linking climate change and development education.’

‘I can adapt these methods for various age groups very easily.’

‘I loved how the facilitator used body, mind and emotion to highlight the issues.’

‘I enjoyed the approach; it was multi-disciplinary and not just symptom/solution-based.’

‘The activities linked climate change with development education, and demonstrated the inherent interdependence of humans and nature.’

 ‘Very good activities – diverse for all types learning styles.’

‘I was interested in information on climate change and the use/introduction to terms such as adaptation/mitigation/global heating, and also touching base with others in the field of education.’

‘Today’s seminar will motivate me to learn and revise more myself.’

‘The seminar presented a lot of information and interesting approaches to dealing with these issues in an educational forum.’

‘The venue was a great space for the numbers.’

‘We didn’t go too far into the science of climate change which was fine; we stayed with the educational necessities.’

The seminar report is now available at: