Project Details

Climate change and health education in primary schools in Kosovo: a multi-method assessment

Duration: Since 01.10.2020
Research Team:

Lira Ramadani (Projektleitung);

Project Partner: Prof. Dr. Melanie Böckmann
Project Type: PostDoc-Project


Background: Climate change education that addresses its impact on human health is essential in combating the growing risks to public health and wellbeing. Rising greenhouse gas concentrations from human activities have led to climate change, resulting in adverse effects on health, including increased occurrences of climate-sensitive diseases, air quality and heat-related morbidity and mortality. Recognizing the urgency of the issue, researchers and experts emphasize the importance of education, particularly in schools, to promote climate change and health literacy. Integrating climate change and health education in curricula, adopting an interdisciplinary approach, and providing evidence-based content can equip students with the knowledge and skills to mitigate and adapt to climate change effectively. By empowering students with climate and health literacy, they can make informed decisions and advocate for broader policies to protect public health and combat climate change on a global scale. Education's role in addressing climate change is widely recognized, yet it remains an under-explored sector with significant challenges. Studies in different contexts show many students lack proper education on climate change, and a noticeable number of teachers feel unsure about how to teach these issues. The complexity and ambiguity of concepts, along with inadequate time, space, and support from educational leaders, hinder teachers' efforts. Evaluating existing interventions in climate change and health education is essential for designing effective teaching methodologies. By learning from past experiences and incorporating evidence-based practices, educators can better engage and educate students on these critical topics.

Objectives: The objectives of this PhD project are to scope out the existing literature and assess the focus of climate change and health topics within school-based education. Assess the integration of climate change and health topics within Kosovo curricula, as well as assess the teacher’s attitudes, and knowledge thereof. Finally, a teaching module will be co-developed through a participatory approach together with the teachers, focusing on climate change and health learning outcomes.

Methodological approach: In a cumulative work, first a scoping review is conducted to gain insights into climate change education with a focus on human health in school-based education. Through the scoping review, we will shed light on the focus on climate change and health topics in primary and secondary education. Subsequently, a content analysis of Kosovo curricula is conducted to ascertain the extent of inclusion of climate change and health topics. The study is completed with interviews and focus groups of the teachers of primary and secondary schools in Kosovo to get a deeper understanding of their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in terms of climate change and health and co-develop a teaching module focusing on climate and health topics, that could be potentially integrated in Kosovo curricula.