STEM Teaching Tool 90

Designing Climate Change Learning for Action

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WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU
  • Teachers should support students in developing a common language and understanding around climate change by supporting solution-based learning and thus fostering hope through action.
  • District Staff & PD Providers need to facilitate community-based learning with community partners, students, and educators as they learn about climate change and climate justice as well as act on what they learn.
  • School Leaders should listen to students who have ideas about the type of community they want to live in and consider how to engage them in opportunities for action.

What Is The Issue?

One strategy to foster hope in an era of climate change is to support youth in taking action within their own spheres of influence. Students are taking action about climate change, and they are looking to their educators to support their learning in this area. Yet some educators are reluctant to design empowering experiences focused on learner agency because it can be misinterpreted as “political action” or “ideological indoctrination.” We suggest framing climate change learning along lines of civic engagement and engineering design, in which students identify and research a real world problem and define and work towards outcomes desirable to their communities.

Authors:

BY ELIZABETH SCHMITZ, DEB L. MORRISON, JEANNE NORRIS, MEREDITH LOHR, SAHAR ARBAB, BRIAN MACNEVIN, BECKY BRONSTEIN, ANNITRA PECK, STACY MEYER, PRISCILLA BROTHERTON | SEPTEMBER 2022


REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • What is the responsibility of schools to foster civic engagement as it relates to climate change action?
  • What benefits do school- and community-focused climate action have on community and regional sustainability?
  • What student-innovated solutions can be centered in instruction and foster equity and justice?

Things To Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take


Supplemental Materials



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This site is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Award #1920249 (previously through Awards #1238253 and #1854059). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.