How do you bring Climate Change into your education setting? | eePRO @ NAAEE

The home of environmental education professional development

How do you bring Climate Change into your education setting?

What's something you've done in the past month, or want to do in the next month, to bring climate change into your classroom or environmental education center? Let's share some stories, experiences, or resources!!

One of the things I really want to do is to bring the importance of climate change to Native American youth with the mission of developing future conservation leaders with the skills, knowledge, and tools to address environmental change and conservation challenges to better serve their schools and home communities. Indigenous communities are one of the first marginalized groups that feel the effects of climate change and we are often left out of the climate change and EE conversation. I really want to develop a set of curriculum that explores the pressures of climate change on indigenous cultural and substance practices and ways students can become environmental leaders at home. I am currently doing some research on climate resiliency and adaption while also looking into indigenous traditional ecological knowledge, which is extremely valuable to climate change movements and discussions. I'm also looking to give political context to the lessons and how treaty rights protect indigenous lands, natural resources, and culture. I believe this to be a very important aspect of bringing about environmental, political, and social change within these communities. Students need to be armed with the knowledge of their connection to the land, the effects of climate change to their communities, and way they can become agents of environmental conservation.

Resources: Sacred Ecology Fikret Berkes
Original instructions Indigenous teachings for a sustainable future Melissa K. Nelson

Our school does a climate change panel activity. Students must pick a place in the world where climate change is effecting the community and plan ways to improve this. They come up with an action plan and then try to convince the local community to approve their plan. The students have a lot of fun with this.

Sorry I missed this question before! This is definitely one that should be revived - so great to share strategies. Toni I love your activity. I tend to integrate climate change into a lot of my teaching. I taught a first year university course on youth activism in the fall (remotely) and of course we looked at youth climate activists from around the world among other activists. We investigated some of the strategies they have used, and mapped the activists and their work on a Padlet map to show how many there are around the world. We brought in guest speakers from different parts of the world via Zoom (including Fiji and Nigeria and Seychelles) - who shared their own insights on activism and unpacked the many reasons why a white European girl was more successful in focusing the attention of the west on the climate crisis, and not the many other activists that have preceded her. I think we all learned a lot and were inspired by all of these youth climate activists and their messages and work.

What a wonderful sequence of experiences, Michelle ! I love the way you framed them, and can see how everyone could get engaged in doing and learning from these things -- AND how anyone could adapt these kinds of mapping and linking to/learning from others' strategies, no matter what their geographic focus. For example, a group focusing on Native American Tribes OR on large city schools OR on rural 4-H groups OR any other group, could find, map, and link to/learn from what they have been doing. And in the process gain insights and inspiration.
Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences !

I wasn't in this group when this post was first started so sorry I missed it earlier. But I wanted to respond to an early post by Brooke Wheeler and point her in the direction of the Living Landscapes project: . They have developed a climate education course and several other educational resources based in Native cultural values and Traditional Knowledges. While I agree we need more of these kinds of resources and you should continue your work (and please let us know if you have developed any resources that can be shared), I was hoping they may be a good resource for you. The project is no longer funded and the PI recently retired, but I can connect you with the group who worked on this, including the person managing the website at Salish Kootenai College if you're interested.