Week Ten: MA Project

Updated: Aug 11

It was interesting learning about the UK government's plan to introduce a GCSE that'll focus on climate change by 2025. The GCSE fits in with my project as my proposal is to get children in the mindset of being able to combat the challenges of climate change and pollution through play. I believe learning about climate change and pollution from a young age is key, yet it doesn't have to be done in a direct way. Children still deserve their innocence without having to be confronted about such complex issues from a young age, yet the skills needed to address these issues can be transferred into playful games and activities.

Image: https://news.sky.com/story/new-climate-change-gcse-will-teach-students-how-to-conserve-the-planet-12592227

Climate change GCSE launched to teach students how to save the planet

As looked through some articles I found some interesting points that I want to look further into as I believe they'll influence the design. The below quotes from Mary Cowell and Michael Gove suggest the importance of connecting with nature for a variety of reasons, a couple of those being mental health inspiration and mental health. This took me book to the book Émile and the importance with connecting with nature and being more in tune with it than afraid, as Jean Jaques Rosseau suggests, "If during his (Émile) infancy he has seen without fear frogs, serpents, crawfishes, he will, when grown up, see without shrinking any animal that may be shown to him. For one who daily sees frightful objects, there are none such." This will be important when considering the materials for my final design as I question how can a child connect with nature whilst in a classroom? What materials can be used to bring nature into the classroom and what is the best material to engage all the senses.

“I think that the natural world provides people with a lot of solace and inspiration and we are in challenging times, being surrounded by things that nurture us. The study of natural history is very nurturing and life-enhancing.”

- Mary Colwell

“There is a connection between connecting with nature and better mental health.”

-Michael Gove

Plastic Tides

The question I posed to the team at Plastic Tides :

With your experience, what skills do you think are relevant for young children (4 to 6 yrs) to start developing now, that'll enable them to be more adept in fighting climate change and pollution in the future?

"Don't know if I have too much "experience" but maybe communication (speaking, but to more than just peers, and speaking properly), curating an understanding and appreciation for science, social empathy, and thinking long-term?"

-Maia Steele

"^^ That's a good response! I also think that it's important for kids that age to learn how to ask questions and start understanding how to dive into their curiosities. This may be more of a thing for parents to start focusing on too. Making sure to respond in a way that guides children's understanding."


The points I want to expand on from the results of my question (so far) are:

  • Develop an appreciation for science.

  • Ask questions.

  • Dive into curiosities.


The Independent. (2022). Climate change GCSE launched to teach students how to save the planet. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-change-gcse-natural-history-b2062026.html [Accessed 27 Apr. 2022].

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