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CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION: REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

 

International

 

2021:  A New Green Learning Agenda: Approaches to Quality Education for Climate Action 

This paper by Christina Kwauk and Olivia Casey for the Brookings Institute outlines a roadmap for a campaign on climate change education and gender equity with a focus on policy entry points for decision-makers and civil society  

  • Build capacity and raise awareness of government decision-makers on issues of gender, education, and climate justice.

  • Raise awareness and understanding across the current and future teacher workforce of the anthropogenic drivers of climate change, the difference between low-impact and high-impact climate solutions, and the intersections between climate change and climate justice  through strategic partnerships between teachers unions, teacher professional societies, and subject-area organizations.  

  • Co-develop with educators a teacher training and leadership program on gender-transformative education for climate action  in partnerships with climate change education organizations, climate justice organizations, indigenous peoples’ organizations, gender and climate organizations, and environmental psychologists.

 

2023:  Climate Change Education: A summary of research reviews, assessment instruments, and ways forward

This report by the  Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia analyses over 350 studies of the effects of a variety of educational interventions focused on climate change.  It considers reviews of the state of climate change education research; effective interventions and teacher education; studies that focus on instruments for assessing climate change-related knowledge, attitudes and practices; and identifies three areas for attention: 1. the emotional and psychological effects of learning about climate change, 2. the school curriculum, and 3. teacher education. 

The report’s key findings are also summarized in this article: How should we teach climate change in schools? It starts with ‘turbo charging’ teacher education by Russell Tyler, Peter Freebody, The Conversation, June 12, 2023 

 

2023: Climate Resilient California Schools: A Call to Action

The report is the work of a California coalition of nearly fifty experts – including doctors, medical and environmental health researchers, educators, youth and community groups – who explored the challenges of climate change from the perspective of children’s health and education.  It includes recommendations for creating climate resilient and sustainable schools through coordinated action on school facilities, community relations, and curriculum reform.

 

Canada

 

2014: Educating for Sustainability: Working Together for a Sustainable Future

This report, prepared by Manitoba Education and Training for the Council of the Ministers of Education, Canada, provides an historical overview of “sustainable development”; an overview of the progress that has occurred across Canada related to “sustainable development education”; and a proposals for future action. The report includes several references to the need for education on climate change and the recommendation that the Council of Ministers of Education Canada develop policies on “educating for sustainability,” including policies on curricular outcomes.

2017: Climate Change and the Canadian Higher Education System: An Institutional Policy Analysis by J. Henderson, A. Bieler,  & M. McKenzie and published in Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 47(1), 1 – 26, presents a report on how Canadian postsecondary educational institutions have engaged with climate change through policy actions.  Their key finding is that “the most common form of response focused on the built campus environment, with underdeveloped secondary responses focused on research, curriculum, community outreach, and governance policies.” 

2018: Building Climate-Ready Schools in Canada: Towards Identifying Good Practices in Climate Change Education by N. Chopin, N., K. Hargis, & M. McKenzie was prepared  for the Sustainability and Education Policy Network. It  overviews the findings of an evaluation of UNESCO’s Getting Climate-Ready: A Guide for Schools on Climate Action for the purpose of identifying good practices of climate action taking place in Canadian UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network, using a whole school approach as a lens.

2019: “Climate science curricula in Canadian secondary schools focus on human warming, not scientific consensus, impacts or solutions in  PLoS One, vol. 14, by Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas. This article applied six categories of the IPCC to curriculum and analyzed secondary science curriculum, and found that learning objectives tend to focus on physical climate mechanisms, observed increase in temperature and anthropogenic causes of warming and have little to no emphasis on scientific consensus, climate impacts, or actions

2019: Canada, Climate Change and Education: Opportunities for Public and Formal Education.  This report by Ellen Field, Paul Berger and Pamela Schwartzberg was prepared by Learning for a Sustainable Future.  It provides data from a survey on Canadian perceptions of climate change. 

2020: Responding to Climate Change: A Primer for K-12 Education This “primer”, prepared for the Sustainability Education and Policy Network by Kristen Hargis & Marcia McKenzie offers “research-based understandings of how ministries of education, school divisions, and schools can help inform and empower climate action.”   It identifies “good climate action practices” within each of the four whole institution areas at the school level: governance; teaching & learning; facilities and operations; community partnerships.

2022: Canadians’ Perspectives on Climate Change Education.  This report, prepared for Learning for a Sustainable Future by Pamela Schwartzberg, P. Stevens, and Karen .S. Action, is a follow-up to the 2019 report by Field, Berger and Schwartzberg.   Some questions from the 2019 survey are repeated, and the responses are compared to assess changes over time. There are significant additions to the 2022 survey including the mental health impacts of climate change, the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge, the impacts of COVID-19, and the importance of youth engagement.

 

2022: MECCE: Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education Country Profile: Canada

This country profile provides a very comprehensive overview of relevant government agencies, laws, policies, and plans relating to climate change education in Canada and existing initiatives and studies.  (Note: it does not include municipal initiatives.)

 

2023: What Do Canadians Really Think About Climate Change? A summary of public opinion research for communicators  by Chris Hatch, Maria Granados, and Rahmah Aldakkak for Re. Climate Institute..  Although not technically for educators, this survey report, and the two that preceded it,  provides a useful snapshot of the state of Canadian knowledge of, and attitudes toward climate change. 

 

2023: Climate Change Education within Canada’s Regional Curricula: A Systematic Review of Gaps and Opportunities, Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Journal, vol. 202,  by Ellen Field,  G. Spiropoulos, A. T.  Nguyen, and R. Grewal. This  review article of explicit climate change education curriculum expectations for each province according to grade, subject, and mandatory versus elective courses shows uneven inclusion of climate change topics, themes, and units within grade 7 – 12 curricula.. The paper concludes with recommendations for addressing gaps.

 

2023: Climate Emotions and anxiety among young people in Canada: A national survey and call to action, Journal of Climate Change and Health, Vol. 9 by Lindsay Galway and Ellen  Field.  This report presents the results of a survey of 1000 young people (aged 16–25) across Canada. The survey asked respondents about: (i) climate emotions and their impacts, (ii) perspectives on the future due to climate change, (iii) perspectives and feelings about government (in)action, (iv) perspectives on supports, programs, and resources needed to cope with climate emotions and anxiety, and (v) perspectives on climate change education.  The authors also include recommendations for addressing youth climate anxiety.

 

Ontario

 

2020 Implementation of the Bondar Report: A Reflection on the State of Environmental Education in Ontario” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, v23 n3 by  Michal Bardecki and Lynda  McCarthy.  This paper provides a useful summary of he recent developments concerning environmental education curricula in Ontario’s schools. It also identifies the key institutional elements which contribute to and influence the course of EE implementation and focuses on their role in the development of environmental curricula in the province. 

 

2022: Canadians’ Perspectives on Climate Change & Education:  Ontario Provincial Report.   

This report, prepared for Learning for a Sustainable Future by Pamela Schwartzberg, P. Stevens, and Karen .S. Action, is the region specific report for Ontario.

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