Climate Change in Alberta Curriculum

Catherine Medynski conducted research as part of her Master studies at Royal Roads University (May, 2018). Her research explored the perceived factors required for the successful integration of climate change into the Alberta curriculum. She held a series of focus groups and interviews with climate change education practitioners in Alberta and explored the successes and challenges they encountered with climate change education. Download the full paper.

The following is drawn from her Project Summary (page 70) 

Key findings from the research:

  • the significance of a community’s culture in climate change education
  • practitioners being worried about teaching climate change, and
  • the importance of teacher and student engagement when teaching climate change. 

 

Conclusions

1. Different communities can – and should – teach climate change in different ways. 

2. Curriculum layout can make climate change education easier or more difficult. 

3. There is opportunity to learn from what other jurisdictions have done or are doing with climate change education. 

4. Successfully including climate change in the curriculum will require financial investment for training. 

5. Including climate change education in the Alberta curriculum will be challenging but worthwhile. 

 

Recommendations for environmental education groups and Alberta Education

1. Resources and training should be developed and provided to educators across Alberta. 

2. Outdoor field trips should be funded for as many students as possible. 

3. Climate change should be taught in a multidisciplinary way. 

4. Training and resources should be developed and delivered to all those involved with the education of Alberta students. 

 

 

 

 

“Schools should prepare us for the future, not the past. The future of the world will be built on sustainability. If we learn what sustainable technologies are available when we are in school, we will be able to help shape the future of global sustainability when we graduate.” 

- Quinn, student at Jasper Place high school in Edmonton