LOCAL BODIES’ EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ACTIONS TO RAISE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE PREFECTURE OF LARISSA IN GREECE

Bechlivani Sofia, Maria Pavlis-Korres

Abstract


The present research aimed at documenting the educational actions and programs about climate change that have been implemented in the Prefecture of Larissa, Greece, and at investigating whether their design and implementation aligns with the principles of adult learning. It also sought to examine whether the participants of these programs have developed environmental awareness and whether they have adapted to the new conditions created by climate change. Following a qualitative methodological approach, this research conducted semi-structured interviews with local bodies’ executives and educators who plan and organize educational programs and events within the scope of climate change. According to the findings of this study, the climate change-related programs implemented in the Prefecture of Larissa were mostly organized by public institutions, had a short duration, and did not always include a practical or experiential part. Their primary purpose was to lead to a more comprehensive approach towards environmental issues and to contribute to the citizens’ and professionals’ adaptation to the changes that have occurred due to climate change. Even though the analysis of target population needs and the program evaluation are generally considered as basic steps in the process of designing adult education programs, this study revealed that local institutions departed from following the abovementioned established practices. In the cases examined, the structure of the content and the implementation of the program were determined by the organizing bodies’ knowledge and capacity. Furthermore, the educational events that offered experiential activities contributed to the participants’ better understanding of the climate change phenomenon, motivated them to become more actively engaged with this issue and led them to the occasional undertaking of initiatives that signified their possible development of environmental awareness. The process of informing, raising awareness and helping people adapt to the consequences of climate change requires time, effort, and persistence by the local institutions and by the state, who can achieve these goals by properly designing and implementing programs that meet the educational needs of the target population.

 

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adult education, climate change, local bodies, environmental awareness, environmental education, adult education program design

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v8i12.4015

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