Our Changing Climate: Do We Need a Shift in the Way We Learn?

Reading Time: 3 min read

How does climate change affect the way we learn? What shifts are needed to successfully meet these challenges?

These were some of the issues addressed by COL’s President Professor Asha Kanwar in the annual Zena Daysh lecture delivered on 19 November 2019 in London. The event was hosted by the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council and marked the organisation’s 50th anniversary.

Speaking to the audience of Commonwealth experts, academics and enthusiasts, and students from the University of London, Professor Kanwar analysed the impact of climate change on education in the Commonwealth. She explored whether achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 will help to mitigate the climate crisis and shared examples of successful ‘green’ models and approaches.

According to Professor Kanwar, three shifts can promote the interconnectedness of the people and the planet: (1) the adoption of a transformative approach to learning; (2) tapping into the vast potential of tacit and indigenous knowledge; (3) situating learning closer to our communities.

“COL’s experience shows that by leveraging technology for learning we can reach larger numbers at speed, scale and lower costs; increase access especially to the most marginalized, remote and rural communities; enhance sharing, cooperation and collaboration, and reduce carbon emissions,” Professor Kanwar noted.

The full text of Professor Kanwar’s lecture, prepared with COL’s Research Coordinator Alexis Carr, is available on COL’s online repository OAsis at: http://hdl.handle.net/11599/3467

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