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why we need to teach climate change, young students with signs advocating for action to save the planet

Responding to the call on Earth Day 2022: Teach Climate Change

The theme of Earth Day 2022 is ‘Invest in Our Planet.’ The call to action from @earthdaynetwork is as follows:

“This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.
For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.”

School districts and schools must be added to that list of changemakers. How can the education sector act boldly, innovate broadly, and implement equitably to invest in our planet in the years ahead? The answer is simple, teach climate change. Here’s what schools and teachers can do.

  1. Be brave. Seize the opportunity to teach climate change. Augment your classroom curriculum by introducing topics and activities related to teaching about climate change and find ways to navigate what is a potentially polarized subject. Here’s ideas for how teachers can do that.
  2. Widen the scope. Climate change education should move beyond the science classroom and be taught by teachers of all subjects and grades. Art classes can include the creation of posters about alternate energy sources or planting trees.. Spanish class can include climate vocabulary and a study of the impact of climate change on the Spanish speaking countries and cultures that students are learning about. English Language Arts can include the writing of short stories or poems about nature or extreme weather events. Math educators can teach climate change by incorporating data, graphs and analysis linked to global warming or sea level rise into their classes.
  3. Look through a lens of justice. Teach about the inequitable impact of climate change on marginalized and low-income communities, globally and nationally. Connect with Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities in your area to find resources, help amplify their voices, and explore solutions. Check out our Teaching Climate Justice course syllabus for more information.

Planet Earth is our only home. And, teachers are uniquely placed to empower and inspire the next generation to protect and save it. To do so, they must have professional learning opportunities. They must be equipped with  the knowledge, skills, and resources to teach climate literacy. That’s what the Climate Change Education for All program at Presidio Graduate School is all about.

The time to teach climate change is now!

The timeline for addressing climate change, and avoiding the potential disastrous consequences of continued global warming, to human life and activity , is short. Earth Day must be 365 days of the year, each and every year. So, we are inviting teachers to enroll in a course, and districts to partner with us. Climate education is investing in our planet. It’s being accountable to our students.

Together, let’s use the power of education to change the world, and make life on Earth better for ALL, now and in the future.

Online Courses

Presidio Graduate School’s online courses give K-12 educators all they need to successfully incorporate climate literacy into their classroom.

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Together, let’s use the power of education to change the world, and make life on Earth better for ALL, now and in the future.