'The drought is my teacher’: Adult learning and education in times of climate crisis

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Shirley Walters


In Cape Town we have been experiencing the most severe drought in our history. We are not alone.
Other cities – for example, in the United States, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, Australia, Morocco and
Pakistan – are also learning to live under new, more extreme, drought conditions. In this article I
use the local drought as an aperture through which to identify key insights into how adult learning
and education (ALE) can and should respond in times of climate crisis. The article is exploratory, as
the ambitious topic opens up a raft of complex economic, socio-ecological and political issues
which can only be touched upon. It aims to prompt deeper conversations about ALE and climate
crises and to identify key questions for future ALE research.

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