Climate change and education: when the future becomes the present

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations

The other day I attended part of a Bath seminar – Climate change and education: when the future becomes the present – given by Camilo Ruiz who's an Associate Professor in the Science Education Department at Salamanca University.  He serves as the coordinator of the EMC3 Research group, which investigates the multiple interactions between Climate Change and Education.

This is the abstract of the presentation:

In this talk, I will explore two crucial interactions between Climate Change and Education. The first interaction focuses on how Education can enhance our mitigation and adaptation strategies.  I will discuss the obstacles that hinder the broad implementation of effective Climate Change Education. Additionally, I will review the Climate Change Education (C3) framework and explore how its robust assessment can be leveraged to design and execute educational interventions within the formal educational system.

There was a second aspect to his presentation but I missed that.

Camilo's talk had a competences focus with a C3 model based around knowledge skills and attitude:

K – biophysical processes / causes / consequences / response

S – purchases / transport / save energy / food diet

A – responsibility / trust / support education / personal efficacy / policy support / hope / concern / schools' role / role of the teacher

Had I been able to take part in the discussion, I'd have said that (with the exception of schools' role / role of the teacher) there was nothing here that was specific to schools.  Talking to a business or local council might have have entailed something very similar.

I’d also have said that schools have one facet unacknowledged here: students – some at least of whom are very demanding of change in what they are taught about environment and climate.  Because of this, the 'response' area of knowledge is one where students want to contribute to the adaptation and mitigation that will be necessary.

Similarly so, in relation to skills, where these students want to develop the ability to intervene and contribute to both discussion and activities.  NAEE has summed this up well in its summary of five essential components of teaching about climate change:

  1. What is climate?
  2. What’s the evidence for global heating and the changing climate?
  3. Looking ahead: what might happen if we carry on as we are?
  4. Looking around: what are we already doing?
  5. Looking ahead: what might (or should) we be doing?

The link takes you to much more detail than that set out here.  Highly recommended – though I ought to say that I had a hand in drafting it.

Posted in: Comment, Talks and Presentations


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