Limiting possibilities: The imagined futures of social studies teachersThis paper analyzes the imaginings of sustainable futures and possibilities for action toward these imaginings articulated by social studies teachers. Participant stories about a day in the life of an imagined future largely leave intact major systems and discourses including those which have actively contributed to problems they identify including climate change. I argue that weakened imaginations and aspirations of possibility function to increase toleration for the most traumatic ecological tragedies both impending and already unfolding. Importantly for the field of social studies education, this data illustrates that while teacher participants consistently articulated desires to include issues of climate crisis in their social studies classrooms, they lack robust understandings of the possibilities for action in the face of complex environmental or climate justice challenges.
Climate futures: Classroom engagements for imagining otherwiseGiven the realities currently at hand, it is easy to imagine the worst-case scenario climate futures, to become paralyzed by climate grief or to disengage all together. Inspired by pedagogical engagements with imagination and drawing on foundational geography skills, this three-day mini-unit invites secondary students to first analyze localized impacts of climate change, and then look to examples of positive climate futures before finally imagining for their own community’s resilient climate future.