EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T003545/1
Title: Community, Science and Education: An interdisciplinary perspective for facing ecological crises in Mexico and South America
Principal Investigator: Solares-Rojas, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Coles, Dr A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Fray Julián Garcés IIIEPE National Autonomous University of Mexico
University of Bristol
Department: Research
Organisation: Ctr for Res & Advan Studies (CINVESTAV)
Scheme: UKRI
Starts: 07 November 2019 Ends: 06 November 2021 Value (£): 148,755
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Mar 2019 GCRF GE Networks Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In Mexico and the South American region there is a need to share knowledge across educators, scientists, teachers, community leaders and policy makers in constructing ways to bring education close to the concerns and needs of marginalised communities. We will be working with communities facing pressures related to global challenges of poverty, health access, water supply and climate change. Our focus is on the strategic GCRF challenge of education and, specifically, sharing expertise in making primary and secondary education relevant to the socioscientific issues faced by communities in Mexico and South America.

Initially we will convene work in Mexico and focus on the educational responses required to support communities in preparing for and preventing crises related to environmental and health pressures brought about by water shortage and water contamination. In Mexico and South America such issues are complex and related to poverty and access to services. Our approach is to bring together interdisciplinary expertise with the aim of proposing an educational response relevant to the local and specific conditions of those communities and schools. Our principled belief is that a normative sharing of "best practice" or "what works" (perhaps still the predominant approach) will inevitably fail to meet the specific needs of communities facing different challenges in different contexts. Our Network will begin with particular issues in identified communities and grow in a modular manner, incorporating other groups and other challenges and sharing the diversity of approaches needed to bring education close to lived issues. The Network will act as a repository for skills and expertise in which we stay close to community concerns, learning with and through those academics and non-academics who have experience and connections in the communities involved. We will be documenting our on-going work via a website, established and maintained in Spanish and English.

We will concentrate initially on two areas: rural communities from the Tlaxcala state; and, urban communities from Mexico City. Members of our team have been working with rural communities from Tlaxcala state since 2005, engaging in ecological research aimed at determining the adverse effects of environmental pollution on the health of children and people living near to the Atoyac River, the third most polluted river in Mexico. The team also has existing links to communities in the Xochimilco and Iztapalapa areas of Mexico City, where inhabitants face severe environmental and water issues. Having established networks with two communities in each region, we will then build to work with six further communities in Mexico, again engaging in immersion meetings in those communities, collecting our new knowledge at plenary conferences and disseminating via workshops to teachers and via work with policy-makers.

We will move from the particular to the general, sharing knowledge about how to bring education close to community concerns. We will disseminate our learning internationally and exploit our international links in order to progressively include colleagues from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and other South America countries in which marginalized communities face environmental crisis. We anticipate being able to share the stories and resources generated in each of the communities with whom we work, and also articulating our learning about the process of working in inter-disciplinary teams and effecting educational change. Both sets of learning will be significant in terms of putting the case to influence educational policy, to support schools in paying attention to community concerns, and in terms of bidding for funds to continue the life of the Network beyond this grant.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: