Teenagers performing research on climate change education in a fully integrated design-based research setting

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  • Sandra Parth
  • Maximilian Schickl
  • Karin Oberauer
  • Susanne Kubisch
  • Veronika Deisenrieder
  • Nina Liebhaber
  • Melanie Frick
  • Gerd Michelsen
  • Johann Stötter
  • Lars Keller

This follow-up study presents a design-based research (DBR) setting implemented over a three-year project called ‘eKidZ–Teach Your Parents Well’ which uses research-based learning and follows the four phases of DBR. In an iterative cycle, 20 teenagers aged 14–16 took on the role of researchers and investigated intergenerational learning and the multiplier effects of students participating in the Climate Change Education project ‘k.i.d.Z.21–Competent into the Future’ on their parents, using the complete research process. Simultaneously, scientists implemented and tested the DBR setting to validate student research findings and to evaluate the quality of the educational setting. In this fully integrated DBR, using multiple methods (quantitative and qualitative), educational and scientific perspectives are brought together to evaluate students’ findings and draw conclusions regarding their learning effects. These research results demonstrate that not only did students generate valid and reliable research, but–when changing perspectives–teenagers also contribute to the discussion about closing the gaps in science education and practice. By examining young people's research on Climate Change Education and recognising their contribution in scientific discourse, this paper offers a host of new insights. Highlights Teenagers take on the role of researchers and perform reliable and valid research results on intergenerational learning and multiplier effects in Climate Change Education, by completing all phases of research-based learning. Design-based research is an effective method to combine science and education and thus delivering novel insights into science education and practice. High-quality Climate Change Education fosters constructive cooperation among all participants with inter–and intragenerational learning and multiplier effects. Constructivism, transdisciplinarity and research-based learning form the basis for effective design-based research and Climate Change Education.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Number of pages23
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thanks to the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH for the financial support and to the KvC-high school for the long-term cooperation. We would also like to thank the students, project teachers, and principal for their engagement, and Lisa Thompson for her language assistance and proofreading of this study. This manuscript has benefited from the thoughtful comments of the reviewers and we thank them for their time.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.