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Biodiversity conservation in educational praxis: dialogue, territory and social participation - 19 October 2022

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The climate emergency has required a great social effort to understand its complexity and define priorities to mitigate it, as evidenced in the relevant and conflicting process of implementing the 2030 Agenda. In this context, environmental education and communication have increasingly assumed a dialogic and participatory perspective, with research and practices involving different social actors.

In Brazil, the proposition of critical environmental projects and programmes, as a social practice aimed at transforming reality, is widely accepted and permeates the regulatory documents of formal and informal education. However, traditional educational processes, which prioritise individual actions, disconnected from the realities of students, and reproduce unequal power relations, are still the keynote in many Brazilian schools and informal educational settings. The tensions that generate and emerge from this contradiction are varied, such as the conditions of teaching practice, infrastructure problems, or the inefficiency of public policies.

In this seminar, Professor Alessandra Bizerra will discuss some of these tensions in educational and communicational processes about biodiversity conservation: the dialogue of knowledge, the appropriation of the living and experiential space by the students, and social participation. To promote the debate, she will present research and practices developed by the CHOICES (Culture and Historicity in Communication and Education in Science) group, about the circulation of biodiversity-related knowledge in informal education settings, and the potential of children and adolescents' perception of the territory for the complexification of socio-environmental issues, when different social actors, such as schools, NGOs, families, students, and educators, are in effective dialogue. To finalise the presentation (but not the discussion), Alessandra will present a Global South perspective on social participation in educational praxis.

Speaker: Professor Alessandra Bizerra 

Alessandra Bizerra is a tenured professor at the Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her research interests include informal education and science communication, with a focus on participatory processes in science/society relations. She served on the Board of the Science and Technology Park at USP and the Brazilian Association of Biology Teaching.

She is currently a Research Fellow at King's College London/CRESTEM. She is the coordinator of the CHOICES research group and a collaborating researcher at the INCT in Public Communication at C & T.

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