Teaching Climate Justice Syllabus

  /    /  Teaching Climate Justice Syllabus

This course is an online teacher professional development that explores the important topics of climate change and its inequitable impact on marginalized communities as well as the history of the environmental, and now emerging climate justice movements.

The Teaching Climate Justice course includes four learning modules, one per week. In each module teachers learn new content, collaborate and engage in peer reviews, and receive feedback from course facilitators. They also determine how best to implement new ideas within their existing curriculum.

The number of hours of facilitated coursework varies each week depending on whether teachers are taking the course for PD hours, CEUs or Graduate Credits. While this teacher professional development does have weekly assignments,  teachers have the flexibility to learn at their own pace. And they can complete the coursework at times that fit their weekly schedule.

Participants will also have the opportunity to join any of the live webinars led by subject experts that are included in our Teaching Climate Change Essentials course, that are taking place during the same timeframe as this course. Webinars include small group work in breakout rooms discussing and synthesizing the content shared by the guest speaker and are a great additional learning resource.

Course Resources

The course provides teachers with a library of quality resources that they can use directly with their students. These just-in-time classroom resources and materials  have been vetted by our course designers and reviewers.  We also share the best online platforms for capturing and curating resources.

Subject to Climate

Subject to Climate is a non profit organization that provides K-12 teachers with a curated collection of over 1500 credible, unbiased, and engaging materials on climate change for use in the classroom. Resources are searchable by subject area, grade level and type of resource making it easy to find what you need.

Teaching Climate Justice Course Syllabus

This teacher PD syllabus comprises of the four learning modules below.

Module 1 | Weather, Climate and Global Warming

Graphic for course module on weather, climate and global warming

In this first module, you will meet your instructors and peers and introduce yourself. You will then develop your understanding of climate change by comparing and contrasting the concepts of weather, climate, global warming and climate change.

Module 2 | The History of Climate Justice

teacher climate course module 8 illustration for climate justice going deeper

In week two, you will look at the history of the environmental and climate justice movements. You will discover how it was the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) who led these movements, and continue to do so today, as they defend their communities and land from environmental injustices. You'll explore the traditions of indigenous peoples and their deep connections to nature and the earth. And, you will be introduced to the Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Screening Tool.

Module 3 | Climate Change: Human Impacts and Inequities

Teacher climate course module 7 climate change's human impacts and inequities

This module is an overview of the impacts of climate change on human activity, and life, in the United States and globally. You will explore the relationship between climate change and health, disease, economics, disasters, and displacement of conflict between communities. And, as you evaluate the disproportionate effect of climate change on marginalized populations you will also explore solutions to the problem. In this module you will start to plan how you can integrate climate action into your own existing classroom curriculum.

Module 4 | Connecting to Nature and the Community

Graphic image with tree and houses symbolizing connecting to nature and the community

In module four you will explore the research that has identified the importance of green spaces and access to nature in healthy communities. You will look at efforts to provide marginalized communities, in particular inner-city and urban communities with greater access to green spaces and nature. You will design an activity to get your own students out into nature. And, you will also identify local resources and community organizations you can partner with and look at ways to help amplify BIPOC voices to support climate justice.