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E&S Home > Vol. 20, Iss. 1 > Art. 46 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Educating for resilience in the North: building a toolbox for teachers

Katie V. Spellman, Resilience and Adaptation Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks


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Communities at far northern latitudes must respond rapidly to the many complex problems that are arising from changing climate. An emerging body of theoretical and empirical work has explored the role that education plays in enhancing the resilience and adaptability of social-ecological systems. To foster effective, local, and timely responses of high-latitude communities to climate-driven social-ecological change, educators need access to successful and efficient teaching tools to foster resilience-promoting feedbacks. The potential for existing teaching practices to address this need, however, must be investigated and communicated to teachers. Here, I review the education and sustainability science literature for attributes of resilience to which formal education can contribute, and I investigate teaching strategies that help to enhance these attributes. Using examples from Alaska, I examine the potential for systems thinking, metacognition, scenarios thinking, citizen science, and stewardship learning to promote resilience in social-ecological systems. I begin to develop a toolbox of teaching strategies for resilience education and suggest that policy for formal schools incorporates these tools into everyday teaching practice.

Key words

Alaska; citizen science; human capital; metacognition; pedagogy; scenarios thinking; sense of place; social capital; social-ecological resilience; systems thinking

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087