Over the past week I have been doing more research about the education of students in schools regarding the subject of climate change. Climate change is a very controversial topic that people need to pay attention too. One of the ways we can do this is teach the subject to kids and teens, seeing as they are the future of our planet, and should want to help save it. Many adults are blind to the concept and idea of climate change, usually because of their own personal beliefs (conservatives for the most part). It is easier to teach this subject to young adults and even children.
In an article I read “Climate in the Classroom” it talks about a study done in North Carolina. This study focused on the idea that teaching children about climate change will evidently teach the parents too. It found that when children got taught about the issue, they would go and teach their parents about it as well. At the beginning, they interviewed children and their parents about how big their concern was regarding climate change. The students would then complete a curriculum over their semester at school. Then both the students and parents took the survey again and they found the concern had gone up, and the curriculum actually works really well.
I then went on to read more about how to exactly teach it to students in a way that will raise concern and passion about the subject. In the article “Communities Take Charge: Climate learning and change-making in the science classroom” explains exactly that. Our Communities Take Charge is an educational program for middle and high schoolers. The focus on education and actually taking action in regards to climate issues. They set up learning goals and link those to activities to do with the students to help explain and portray the issue better. They found that successful programs tend to all focus on: making climate change information meaningful and relevant for their learners, and designing activities to help engage them as well.
Climate change is not just something to teach middle and high schoolers, you can also start teaching this topic while kids are younger. You must do it in a good way though. In “How to teach young students about climate change,” it maps out all sorts of things teachers can do when teaching this topic to younger grades, so that they can know more and be educated about this topic earlier on. One example is introducing them to young role models, like Greta Thunberg, and showing them how teens are making a difference. There are lots of educational, kid friendly videos and activities to do with the kids as well to help them learn. No matter the method chosen, they must be taught the right facts, the ones backed up by science. Not ones based on the teacher’s own beliefs.
As of right now, children and young adults are the hope for the future. Adults aren’t taking action so it is left in the kids’ hands. “Adults won’t take climate change seriously. So we, the youth, are forced to strike,” is a powerful article about how the youth have been the ones demanding change, not adults. All around the country, there have been strikes led by youth in order to demand change to the system. For example, like supporting the The Green New Deal. They recognize that it is our generation, and the generations after us that will have to live on this planet, so we must demand to start taking care of it.