Title

Overcoming hopelessness in the classroom: A Policy-Entrepreneur approach to teaching American environmental politics in the age of climate crisis

Abstract

The rollback of several environmental policies in the US at the federal level over the last couple of years often evokes a heavy sense of cynicism in our students toward environmental politics and has exacerbated their anxiety for the future of our planet. In this article, I argue that it is important to acknowledge our students' emotional distress toward complex environmental issues like climate change or biodiversity loss and suggest a policy-entrepreneurial approach to teaching environmental politics and policy that aims to offer students greater agency over the political system that has shown to inspire optimism and action. This approach involves moving beyond critical analyses of environmental policies and guiding undergraduates through systemic studies of the larger policy-making process to find possible leverage points to influence environmental politics. This potentially allows students to view policies in a continuum that can be actively shaped and channels their negative emotions on the failure of addressing environ- mental problems toward constructive hope and positive environmental behavior.

Publisher

Routledge Journals

Publication Date

5-1-2021

Publication Title

Journal of Political Science Education

Department

Environmental Studies

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/15512169.2021.1920418

Notes

Issue supplement 1: Online special issue

Keywords

Affective motivation, Civic engagement, Classroom climate

Language

English

Format

text

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