Place‐based civic science—collective environmental action and solidarity for eco‐resilience
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Place‐based civic science—collective environmental action and solidarity for eco‐resilience

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  • Journal Title:
    Child and Adolescent Mental Health
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    BackgroundEducating children and young people (CYP) from marginalized communities about environmental crises poses a unique dilemma as educators strive to prepare them to deal with the climate crisis without compounding the stressors and fear of an unlivable future many already face. We explored how place‐based civic science (PBCS) can provide opportunities to engage youth in environmental understanding and action through teamwork in which youth feel that they belong to a group larger than themselves and gain a sense of hope from working with others toward shared goals. We argue that combining PCBS pedagogies of collective action and collaborative learning spaces can help to buffer against distress as CYP grapple with global environmental crises.MethodsWe drew from qualitative responses (student reflections and public presentations) of 486 6–12th graders (majority students of color) on what they learned from participating in PBCS projects. Projects involved egalitarian partnerships between adults from environmental organizations, teachers and student teams studying and acting together to mitigate problems and presenting their efforts in public venues.ResultsStudents’ qualitative responses revealed an identification with their team and its goal forged through the work, respect for their voice, belief in their capacity and confidence to take collective action and even enjoyment of working together to address community concerns.ConclusionsPBCS through collective learning/action in student teams and nonhierarchical intergenerational partnerships, and connections that CYP forge with organizations in the broader community, can help to build CYP’s agency and efficacy while addressing “emotionally heavy” issues such as climate change.
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    Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 27(1), 39-46
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    Accepted Manuscript
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