Learning about the climate: young people and schools

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations

As I noted the other day, and also a few weeks ago, I gave a talk to a group of PGCE geography students at the start of the year.  At the end of the talk, I set out what I thought about a number of issues to do with climate, environment and the curriculum.  I did this so that the students could see my thinking and assumptions about the issues.  I stressed that they did not have to accept what I thought, but that there was an imperative on them to have their own views on these topics.  I confined myself to 5 topics which were: The Earth; Young people; Schools; Curriculum organisation; Curriculum progression.  This is what I said about the young people and the schools they are in:

Young people

  – are increasingly aware that we face serious problems
  – see these as problems they will have to face
  – may not always fully understand the issues – but who does?
  – tend not to get unbiased messages about them
  – don’t necessarily view populist policies and strategies as controversial
  – want to be informed and involved
  – need schools to help them think through the issues
  – will respond well to being taken seriously

Schools should ...

  – be seen to understand that sustainability is of relevance to their work
  – adopt sustainability as a core value and thus part of their purpose
  – involve all staff and students in deciding and implementing change
  – get the buy-in of parents
  – think in a rounded way in terms of the school’s curriculum, campus, community and culture
  – fund curriculum, professional and organisational development
  – beware of what the hidden curriculum is teaching their students

There's so much more to say, of course, but these were enough for a couple of powerpoint slides.

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations


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