Books on teaching climate change communication, eco-literacy, and eco-justice
These books for educators address advanced topics in climate change education.
Teaching climate change communication
Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators, by Anne K. Armstrong, Marianne E. Krasny, and Jonathan P. Schuldt (Cornell University Press 2018, 144 pages, $19.95 paperback)
Starting with the basics of climate science and climate change public opinion, the authors synthesize research from environmental psychology and climate change communication, weaving in examples of environmental education applications throughout this practical book. Each chapter covers a separate topic, from how environmental psychology explains the complex ways in which people interact with climate change information to communication strategies with a focus on framing, metaphors, and messengers. This broad set of topics will aid educators in formulating program language for their classrooms at all levels. Environmental education, the book demonstrates, is an important player in fostering positive climate change dialogue and action.
The Climate Change Playbook: 22 Systems Thinking Games for More Effective Communication about Climate Change, by Dennis Meadows, Linda Booth Sweeney, and Gillian Martin Mehers (Chelsea Green Publishing 2016, 192 pages, $6.24* paperback)
Is there a way to reach people who hold mistaken assumptions about climate change? The simple, interactive exercises in The Climate Change Playbook can help students and citizens better understand climate change, diagnose its causes, anticipate its future consequences, and effect constructive change. Illustrated guidelines walk teachers/leaders through setting each game up, facilitating it, and debriefing participants. Users will find games that are suitable for a variety of audiences – whether large and seated, as in a conference or class room, or smaller and mobile, as in a workshop, seminar, or meeting. Designed by leading thinkers in systems, communications, and sustainability, the games focus on learning by doing.
*For a limited time the publisher is selling the $24.95 book for this remaindered price.
Climate Change in Practice: Topics for Discussion with Group Exercises, by Robert L. Wilby (Cambridge University Press 2017, 291 pages, $44.99 paperback)
Derived from an undergraduate course taught by the author, this accessible book seeks to challenge and provoke readers by posing a series of topical questions concerning climate change and society. Topic summaries provide answers to technical, socio-economic and moral questions surrounding the deployment of climate science. These include how to build and test a climate model, who and what is most at risk from climate change, and whether we should geoengineer the climate. Practical exercises and case studies take readers through role-play activities and research projects. Supporting materials, including notes for instructors and students, graphics, video-clips, games, and online resources, offer scope for further private study and group work.
Eco-education / eco-Literacy
Transformative Eco-Education for Human and Planetary Survival, edited by Rebecca L. Oxford and Jing Lin (Information Age Publishing 2011, 408 pages, $45.99 paperback)
Transformative eco-education is environmental education that is literally needed to transform and save our planet. Such education demands the transformation of many deeply rooted ideas: the Earth exists merely to provide for human comfort; the extinction or reduction of other species does not matter; we are free to consume or destroy natural resources; and the Earth will continue to sustain us, even if we do not sustain the Earth. Unless these concepts are changed, we will increase global warming and add to the ruin of much of the Earth. This book presents powerful ideas for transformative eco-education. We urge readers to use the ideas and activities in this book, develop them further, and create new conceptions to share with educators and students.
Eco-Literate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, Lisa Bennett, and Zenobia Barlow (Jossey-Bass 2012, 192 pages, $24.95 paperback)
Hopeful, eloquent, and bold, Ecoliterate offers inspiring stories, practical guidance, and an exciting new model of education that builds on the success of social and emotional learning by addressing today’s most important ecological issues. This book shares stories of engagement in issues related to food, water, oil, and coal in communities from the mountains of Appalachia to the deserts of New Mexico to the coast of New Orleans to the streets of Oakland, California. Ecoliterate marks a rich collaboration between Daniel Goleman and the Center for Ecoliteracy; for nearly twenty years the Center has worked with schools and organizations in more than 400 communities across the United States and numerous other countries.
Critical Pedagogy, Ecoliteracy & Planetary Crisis: The Ecopedagogy Movement, by Richard Kahn (Peter Lang 2010, 186 pages, $39.95)
We live in a time of unprecedented planetary ecocrisis, one that poses the serious and ongoing threat of mass extinction. What role can critical pedagogy play in the face of such burgeoning catastrophe? Drawing upon a range of theoretical influences – including Paulo Freire, Ivan Illich, and Herbert Marcuse – this book offers an ecopedagogy for the global north. In so doing, it poses challenges to today’s dominant paradigms and programs, such as education for sustainable development. Students and teachers of critical pedagogy, environmental studies, and sustain-ability will find this book a powerful provocation to adjust their thinking and practice in order to abolish forms of culture predicated upon planetary extermination and the domination of nature.
Education in Times of Environmental Crises: Teaching Children to Be Agents of Change, edited by Ken Winograd (Routledge 2016, 284 pages, $57.95 paperback)
This comprehensive resource supports the work elementary teachers as they teach their students to be part of the world as engaged citizens and advocates for social and ecological justice. Its broad social/cultural perspective emphasizes that social and ecological justice are interrelated. It describes environmental education pedagogies such as nature-based experiences and place-based studies; peace-education practices; children doing environmental activism; and teachers supporting children emotionally in times of climate disruption and tumult. The pedagogies described invites children to become “agents of change” in the public sphere, engaged in social and environmental issues and problems through their actions both local and global.
EcoJustice Education: Toward Diverse, Democratic, and Sustainable Communities, 2E, by Rebecca A. Martusewicz, Jeff Edmundson, John Lupinacci (Routledge 2014, 390 pages, $66.95)
EcoJustice Education offers a powerful model for cultural ecological analysis and a pedagogy of responsibility, providing teachers and teacher educators with the classroom practices they need to develop citizens who are prepared to support and achieve diverse, democratic, and sustain-able societies in an increasingly globalized world. Designed for educational foundations and multicultural education courses, the text is written in a conversational style grounded in place and experience, but it also pushes students to examine the ideological, social, historical, and political contexts of the crises humans and the planet we inhabit now face. The 2nd Ed. features a new chapter on Anthropocentrism; updated statistics and examples, and a companion website.
Teaching for EcoJustice: Curriculum and Lessons for Secondary and College Classrooms, by Rita J. Turner (Routledge 2015, 236 pages, $51.95 paperback)
Teaching for EcoJustice is a unique resource for exploring the social roots of environmental problems in humanities-based educational settings and a guidebook for putting EcoJustice Education into practice. It provides model curriculum materials that apply the principles of EcoJustice Education, giving pre- and in-service teachers the ability to review examples of specific secondary and post-secondary assignments, lessons, discussion prompts, and strategies that encourage students to think critically about how modern problems of sustainability and environmental destruction have developed and how they can be addressed. Throughout, the author comments on the rationale behind the materials and reports their effect on students.
Editor’s note: Special thanks to Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education at University of Minnesota, who suggested this topic, recommended additional titles, and gave us permission to link to his extended bibliographies of related books and articles. See here and here.