Overcoming hopelessness in the classroom: A Policy-Entrepreneur approach to teaching American environmental politics in the age of climate crisis
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.
Pathak, Swapna. 2021. "Overcoming hopelessness in the classroom: A Policy-Entrepreneur approach to teaching American environmental politics in the age of climate crisis." Journal of Political Science Education 17: 32-39.
Journal of Political Science Education
Issue supplement 1: Online special issue
Affective motivation, Civic engagement, Classroom climate