On Friday, May 25th, 2018, ACEE hosted a full-day environmental education workshop for Lethbridge area environmental educators. The day included indoor and outdoor networking opportunities, environmental education games, a workshop on "What is Excellent Climate Change Education?", as well as opportunities to provide feedback and express needs surrounding energy education in the Lethbridge area.
Attendees expressed an enthusiasm for the opportunity to meet other environmental educators and also provided ACEE with the following suggestions for energy education:
- Teachers need hard skills in depolarization and de-escalation skills when teaching challenging topics.
- Professional development is needed in teaching tolerance, open-mindedness and critical thinking.
- Teachers need a way to get professionals and experts into classrooms who can speak to energy at a high level.
- Expertise is needed in career awareness and "sustainability jobs".
- Teachers want field trips to energy-related locations, but there are barriers, especially in funding.
When asked what would help them to deliver more energy education, attendees expressed the following:
- Knowledge about energy. "We have no clue what to teach". Professional development on the topic.
- Methods of promoting student buy-in.
- A way to find common ground.
- A way to bypass time constraints in teaching the topic.
- We need a way to quantify (reveal) energy. It's not visible to students and we need a method to make it tangible.
- Teaching resources - it's hard to find resources to teach energy that are challenging enough for a high school level.