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New paper: Addressing Students’ Eco-anxiety when Teaching Sustainability in Higher Education

New paper presented at ICT4S 2022 - and it won best paper award at the conference!

Published onJul 20, 2022
New paper: Addressing Students’ Eco-anxiety when Teaching Sustainability in Higher Education

At the 2022 International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S) we presented the paper “Addressing Students’ Eco-anxiety when Teaching Sustainability in Higher Education”. Not only did it lead to interesting discussions in the ConverStation format presentations, but we also won Best Paper Award!! Below is the abstract of the paper and here is a link to the open access publication:

DOI: 10.1109/ICT4S55073.2022.00020


The widespread awareness and the sense of urgency and helplessness regarding the ongoing sustainability crisis (climate change, biodiversity loss etc.) can evoke feelings of grief, sorrow, despair and anxiety. Those emotions are seldom discussed in computing or in computing education. They can have detrimental effects on the well-being of students and others, and also lead to inaction. But concern can on the other hand also be a catalyst for learning. In this paper, we present results and reflections from a research and development project in our introductory course to sustainability and ICT focusing on emotions in sustainability education. We focus on “eco-anxiety” and ask: 1) How is eco-anxiety communicated by students and teachers?, 2) In what ways do students receive support to deal with eco-anxiety? and 3) What could be done to better address eco-anxiety in computing education? We here present an analysis of how we have responded to the phenomenon of eco-anxiety, what activities have been added to the course and an evaluation of these interventions. The results are based on joint reflections that have been guided by literature, a small-scale ethnographic study as well as a course evaluation. The paper will end with recommendations for other ICT4S educators on how they can start addressing eco-anxiety in their education.

Surprised co-authors receiving the Best Paper Award from Coral Calero (PC co-chair). In the picture from the left, João Paulo Fernandes (General Co-chair), Anne-Kathrin Peters, Elina Eriksson, Coral Calero and Daniel Pargman.

Header photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

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