Navigating holostic and sustainable learning:Challenges and opportunities in ongoing and creeping emergencies
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The overalla im of thist hesisi s to developa ndc riticallyr eflectu ponl earningp rinciples that are fit for purpose in engaging learners within situations of actual and anticipated humanitarian crisis. The study begins with an examination of the broad backcioth to the study, the interlinked causes of humanitarian emergencies - globalization, climate change and underlying worldviews. It is based on the assumption that interconnected social and environmental problems, as currently manifested, will be further exacerbated by the consequences of incremental and especially runaway climate change, or'creeping emergencies. ' The study draws upon expertise and insights from two contemporary educational discourses:e mergencye ducationa nd sustainability-relatede ducation. It was conductedi n two phases. Phase one aimed at examining the current range of renditions and understandingsw ithin the two fields and by eliciting perceptionso f the interfaceb etweent he two fields. It was conducted through literature reviews and interactions with ten experts, five from each field. A process of dialogue and reflection allowed for the emergence of holistic and sustainable learning principles that could be applied within emergency contexts. Using a qualitative case study methodology in phase two, the applicability of and practitioner receptivity to the learning principles emerging from phase one were investigated through engagementw ith the ongoing initiativeo f the NGO Plan International,C hildrena nd Young People at the Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction, and its organically emerging follow-up multi-agency initiative, Children in a Changing Climate. By and large, participating educational practitioners expressed their sense of the relevance of the principles to a considerable degree. In order to examine contextual variables in applying the six principles, further critical appraisal of the principles was undertaken through documentary case studies of Plan International's Yogyakarta Earthquake Response and Recovery Program in Indonesia and its Rapid Education Pilot Project in Sierra Leone. The examination reveals that the principles and their constituent elements were of varying importance and practicality depending on context. The exigencies of each situation posed limitations on what could be done practically in the field during the immediate crisis period with the application of some principles and elements, while nonetheless important for building future resilience, better held over until the mid-or long-term. This study suggests the need for more empirical research into holistic renditions of emergencye ducationi mplementationt,h eoreticald evelopmentw ith a view to embedding insights from the field of emergency education into seemingly 'non-emergency' contexts, and advancing educational thinking and practice in anticipation of runaway climate change.
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