Education on climate change has long been a pressing issue. In previous articles we have discussed the need for environmental education and teacher programs that incorporate environmental issues into the curriculum. According to the United Nations, education is a crucial factor in the strategy to reduce environmental impact. The reason is that education can motivate people to develop better habits or behaviors and make informed decisions. Students can learn about pressing issues like global warming or pollution in the classroom. You will be empowered to implement actions and know how to do it. Knowledge makes them part of an effective solution. Understanding how to identify and manage environmental problems reduces the fear and threat we feel about them.
A recent study shows that we could reduce CO2 production by 19 gigatonnes by 2050 if only 16% of students in middle- and high-income countries received environmental education. What does this number mean? How can we put it in context to explain the environmental impact? This measure corresponds to one trillion tons. A gigaton of ice, would cover Central Park, for example in New York and stand 341 feet tall. Now imagine that this amount of carbon emissions will no longer exist in the environment. Let’s discuss the benefits of getting rid of those emissions. These data, statistics and interpretations are the basis for child-friendly environmental education.
An approach that emphasizes the positive benefits and impact of being environmentally conscious can achieve more in the long run than a perspective based on warnings and fears. People can get tired of being scared, but don’t be afraid to get involved and interested in a problem that can benefit them. What didactic resources are available to teachers to build the backbone of ecological didactics? Various governmental and non-governmental organizations have resources for this purpose.
Free resources on environmental education
The Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenges offers a compendium of all kinds of resources to educate about ecological awareness. This includes the complete Kyoto Educa Program of theory and methods to raise awareness of the need for schools to join environmental efforts. It provides information for institutions to reduce emissions and share activities with their students that can organize a “climate festival”. The Didactic Guide to Environmental Education from the Junta de Andalucía in Spain provides a clear vision of the critical concepts that need to be taught in an environmental education program and solid ideas about the content and conversations that are part of each level of education from infancy to 18. years belong to years.
The ecological advice blog for English-speaking readers A home gathered several resources to learn more about climate change in one place and listed the appropriate ones for each age group. Climate Kids, created by NASA, is a website dedicated to the dissemination of environmental curriculum material. It offers activities, videos, games and more to get kids involved. Practical action is an initiative with a STEM approach to promote both ecological didactics and students’ interest in science. The activities and challenges cover the didactic needs of elementary and secondary school students.
Have you used any of these materials in class? Have you created your own or turned to others? What role do you think institutions and educators should play in teaching about climate change? Do you think we’re doing enough? What would you suggest if not? Let us know in the comments.
Translation by Daniel Wetta