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Seeing through the fog – stories of social shocks to empower youth voice and leadership

Webber, Amanda; Jones, Verity; Gorell Barnes, Luci; Fogg Rogers, Laura; McEwen, Lindsey; Williams, Sara-Jayne; Deave, Toity; Hobbs, Laura; Gopinath, Deepak


Amanda Webber

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Verity Jones
Associate Professor of Education

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Dr Laura Fogg Rogers
Associate Professor of Knowledge Exchange in Engineering

Lindsey McEwen
Professor in Environmental Management

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Toity Deave
Associate Professor in Child & Family Health


The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (Article 12) clearly states that children have the right to be to be heard and to have their views taken seriously. However, their voices are seldom listened to or considered in policy making and policy development. Climate change education can allow the voices of young people to be heard and help young people imagine desirable futures and develop agency to address the steps, both personal and policy based, that are needed to achieve this.
In this presentation we draw on research conducted by the VIP-CLEAR project (Voices in a Pandemic – Children’s Lockdown Experiences Applied to Recovery) with 44 7–11-year-olds from Bristol, UK. The project partnered with six schools and used arts-based methods to gather experiences of children living in socially disadvantaged areas in the city. Whilst the research was initially designed to capture children’s experiences of COVID-19, their voices and artwork revealed a multitude of social, environmental, and economic pressures and associated emotional responses that have to be negotiated beyond the pandemic. This led to the development of a book (Learning to Live with Fog Monsters) to support children during social shocks or intangible risks including climate change. Here we will present the book and outline how the story follows the children’s narrative arc from feeling helpless to having a sense of agency. Through the book we will explore how children’s literature can enable discussion and engagement with the important social issues and crises. We suggest that within the context of climate related education, books informed by, and amplifying children’s lived experiences could enable educators to address climate change without provoking eco-anxiety and provide a way that decision makers in industry and government can listen to young people’s voices.


Webber, A., Jones, V., Gorell Barnes, L., Fogg Rogers, L., McEwen, L., Williams, S., …Gopinath, D. (2023, April). Seeing through the fog – stories of social shocks to empower youth voice and leadership. Paper presented at Public Communication of Science & Technology, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Public Communication of Science & Technology
Conference Location Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Start Date Apr 13, 2023
End Date Apr 13, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 14, 2023
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