Educating the Temporal Imagination: Teaching time for climate justice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Climate change has been called both a ‘slow emergency’ and an ‘urgent crisis’, it creates tensions between human and non-human temporalities, it asks some communities to ‘speed up’ and demands others slow down, and requires choices between present needs, historical responsibilities and future consequences. If students are to understand and confront climate (in)justice, then a ‘temporal imagination’ (Adam, 1998) is required that is alert to the ways that time is central to the politics of a warming world. This paper therefore explores how ‘teaching time’ can support the awareness of and attention to (in)justice in a warming world.

The paper discusses the limits of current approaches to teaching time in education and explores a range of practices for developing ‘temporal attunement’ (Jensen, 2023) that can be found in public arts, Indigenous education, educational philosophy, futures studies and decolonial praxis. It maps out practices of: relational time, rhythm, anticipation and reparation, temporal suspension, and critical time keeping. It argues that these practices can be put into dialogue as a basis for a ‘temporal pedagogy’ that comprises three moves: interruption (of habitual and dominant temporal frames and their production of injustice), attention (to the latent, situated, plural timings and rhythms of the situation), and encounter (through invitations to judgement about the temporal practices that should govern more just collective action in response to climate change). It concludes by working through an example of how such a pedagogy might be deployed to negotiate the conflicting temporalities of socio-ecological change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jun 2024


  • climate change
  • Time
  • Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Temporal pedagogy
  • Futures
  • sustainability


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