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Call for Proposals, The Environmental Crisis and Education, Georg Arnhold International Summer Conference

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May 26, 2021

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Georg Arnhold International Summer Conference
23-27 August 2021 - Online Conference

The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI) is pleased to announce the , which will take place online from 23 to 27 August 2021. The Summer Conference will explore aspects and topics related to the environmental crisis and education.

The potentially grave consequences of humankind’s destruction of intact eco-systems and of climate change are currently being dramatically illustrated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from the acute threat currently provided by the virus, climate change is the biggest challenge facing the global community in the twenty-first century.

The negative effects of climate change not only fundamentally challenge our lifestyles but also call our development and growth paradigms into question, especially in countries in the global north, which are the primary polluters. The causes and consequences of climate change are deeply intertwined with global patterns of inequality, in which climate change has a multiplier effect on existing vulnerabilities, particularly in the global south. The interplay between climate change, conflict, poverty, hunger and migration lead to ever more complex emergencies. While industrialised nations are able to take measures to counteract the ramifications, poorer countries or regions already destabilised by crises are more acutely affected, and particularly populations who were already vulnerable such as old people, women, children and those affected by poverty. The weakest and most at risk people, particularly those in the global south, carry the heaviest burden of the effects of climate change despite currently and historically having contributed least to its root causes.

Despite the signing of numerous international climate agreements and national action plans to mitigate the changes to the climate and to minimise the susceptibility of countries to the negative effects, it has become clear that the global community is still resisting fully committing to the measures necessary to prevent and attenuate the consequences of climate change. While governments and companies are on the front line, each of us as individuals and members of society must also urgently change our behaviour in order to more quickly implement and realise the measures, and redefine our relationship with the environment in order to effect a transformation of the system and bring about the fundamental changes so urgently required.

One way of realising such change is to use education to better equip future generations to address current and future challenges. Alongside government or economic initiatives and civil projects, education plays an important role in bringing about the political and economic transformation necessary to create ecologically sustainable societies. Education shapes values and perspectives, and helps develop abilities, concepts and tools that can be used to critically reflect upon current lifestyles and identify political, social and ecological courses of action.

Against this background, this year’s Summer Conference will address important questions and topics related to education in the face of the environmental crisis. The Georg Arnhold Program on Education for Sustainable Peace focuses on content, educational media and curricula for secondary schools.

The GEI therefore invites submission of original contributions to the Summer Conference that draw upon current theories and innovative methods, in a range of contexts, to illuminate the different aspects and challenges facing education for sustainable development, particularly in the most severely affected regions.

We are predominantly, but not exclusively, interested in submissions that address the following themes and questions:

Education in climate-related emergencies
What role do formal or informal education initiatives or programmes play, particularly in locations or situations where regular access to a school education is limited or impossible due to climate-related emergencies? How can existing inequalities in education be reduced or removed and the perspectives and experiences of those population groups most affected (indigenous peoples, women and socially disadvantaged groups) be better integrated into the design and implementation of measures to protect and adapt to the climate?

Ecological Peace Building
Submissions can be based around theories that address definitions and implications of climate crisis, environmental conflict and education in precarious situations. We also wish to focus on questions related to ecological peace building. How can cooperation on environmental issues contribute to resolving climate-related conflict?

Environmental Education: Education Practices, Curricula and Educational Materials
We would like to examine the content, abilities and skills that pupils need to be taught, and must therefore be included in curricula and educational materials, in order for them to become agents for change in relation to sustainable development and the environment. Submissions may discuss different pedagogical approaches to environmental education and ecological peace building in secondary education or address the potential and challenges of new approaches such as global citizenship education, education for sustainable peace or transformative education. What role do differences in content and methodology play in environmental education in different countries and world regions? What role does new technology ultimately play in environmental education and ecological peace education?

Best-Practice Examples
We also wish to gather examples of practical experience: best-practice examples from international, national and local projects, grassroots initiatives or extra-curricular activities. What challenges are faced by teachers and pupils in regions affected differently by climate change and what solutions have they found?

Applicants are requested to explain how their proposal addresses the theme of the Summer Conference as outlined above.

The five-day long Summer Conference will bring together early-career scholars, senior researchers, and practitioners from around the world who work on refugee issues, migration and integration in relation to education. It will provide an interdisciplinary and international forum that will allow participants to debate and critically reflect upon key research questions, methods, findings, and their implications. The academic program will offer participants the opportunity to widen their research perspectives and improve their methodological competencies.

Workshop – The IRC Incubator

Part of the Summer Conference is an incubator session organized and facilitated by the Airbel Impact Lab, which is the research and innovation arm of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). This day-long session will take place as part of the conference in order to explore connections between the IRC’s work and the academic efforts of researchers selected to attend. The Symposium participants will use design methods and mindsets to think through practical ways of improving the impact of their work and/or increasing its application. It will also help identify synergies between researchers’ work, and IRC programming.

Up to 5 individuals will be selected to undertake fellowships with the IRC. These individuals will travel to one of IRC’s field locations for about 2 weeks, and work closely with IRC staff to undertake work which furthers both the IRC’s and the fellows’ interests.

All attendees of the Summer Conference will be welcome to join the incubator and will be eligible for selection to participate in this fellowship with the IRC.

You can find more detailed information about the incubator and the fellowship with the IRC at our website. There you will also find a catalogue of questions that will help us evaluate your specific interest in the fellowship and how your work relates to IRC projects.


The Summer Conference primarily welcomes applications from academic experts, post-doctoral scholars and doctoral candidates from the humanities and social sciences, particularly education, history, political sciences, sociology, law, anthropology, and psychology. Practitioners working for international organizations and NGOs in the relevant fields are also welcome to apply. Applications from students enrolled in a master’s program and recent graduates with a master’s degree will be considered in exceptional cases.

The GEI invites suitable applicants to complete and submit an application form, which can be downloaded at our .

Submissions should be made electronically. All documents must be in PDF format.

The file name should be: Last name, First name_Arnhold Summer Conference 2021.

Please send applications to [email protected], with the subject line “Arnhold Summer Conference 2021.”

The (extended) deadline for completed applications is June 15, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of June.

The working language of the Summer Conference will be English. Due to the current circumstances this year’s conference will take place online entirely.

The GEI plans to publish the proceedings of the Summer Conference and will ask participants and experts to submit articles for publication based on their presentations.


Katharina Baier
Coordinator of the Georg Arnhold Program
Education for Sustainable Peace

Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research
Member of the Leibniz Association
Phone: +49 (0)531 59099-226
[email protected] | www.leibniz-gei.de


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