An exploration of how Speculative Drama can be engaged to understand children and young people’s future worldviews on Climate Change

Year: 2019

Author: Wijesinghe, Thilinika

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In the era of the Anthropocene, the fast depletion of natural resources and disastrous environmental damage are causing harm to the entire ecosystem. Children enter a world established by others, which they have no real choice but to accept. According to Levin (2004), children are absent from any vision of the future because the vocabulary of classical liberal and libertarian thinking leaves little room for them.

This PhD study aims to understand how Speculative Drama, a relatively new field of study, can be engaged to understand children and young people’s future worldviews regarding Climate Change. The research focus is on children’s agency and explores the importance of children and young people engaging as critical participants in their own futures.

Children’s worldviews as well as their voices and participation will be crucial to achieving sustainable action. A posthuman theoretical framework underpins this participatory study. Working with young people as co-researchers in mobilizing educational practices that operate outside of anthropocentric and scientistic frameworks (Rousell, Cutter-Mackenzie, & Foster, 2017, p. 657) aims to enable children and young people to understand the dynamics of research as well as empowering them. Working with children as a community of embodied artists honours their creative authority (Cutcher & Boyd, 2016, p.5) by introducing speculative drama as a medium to express their future worldviews. This cross disciplinary research study is at an early stage and seeks to provide an analysis through literature and theory on how the medium of speculative drama may serve as both a critical and creative platform.


Cutcher, A. & Boyd,W. (2016) Children as artists: The preschool as a community of creative practice, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 13(1), 5-17. DOI: 10.1080/15505170.2016.1143893

Levin, Y. (2004). Imagining the future. The New Atlantis, (4), 48-65. Retrieved from []

Rousell, D., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Foster, J. (2017). Children of an Earth to Come: Speculative fiction, geophilosophy and climate change education research. Educational Studies, 53(6), 654-669.