Climate Change Workshops for Teachers

Please contact Marie Tremblay - marie[at]abcee.org if you are interested in any of our workshops.

Let's Get Climate Active! - Engaging Elementary Students in Climate Education and Action

Climate change is part of the Alberta curriculum and is one of the most pressing issues we face.  Yet, some teachers are reluctant to ‘go there’ with their students citing a lack of support from colleagues, administrators or parents, the challenge of deciphering fact from misinformation and, most importantly, concern over adding more angst to students who may already be anxious or even depressed about their future. 

Research shows, however, that engaging with this challenging topic - rather than avoiding it - is the best way to replace fear with curiosity and instill hope and positive attitudes in our students.  Whether you teach grade 1 or grade 6, understanding what climate change means for you and your students provides a rich, real, and authentic opportunity to develop understanding around core concepts like connectedness, reciprocity, systems, wellness, citizenship, or change.  

Although climate change impacts all of us, it is also something we can all do something about.  As long-time environmental educator David Orr so aptly puts it, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up”.  So, roll up your sleeves and join us for this highly engaging session that will increase your foundational knowledge of climate change, identify curriculum connections, highlight quality resources - and show you how to get ‘climate active’ with your students and give them hope for their future.  This workshop is designed specifically for Division I and II teachers. Please bring a laptop or mobile device to be able to access the internet.  


Action Begets Hope! - Unpacking AND Tackling the Climate Change Issue with Secondary Students

Climate change is part of the Alberta curriculum and is one of the most pressing issues we face.  Yet, many teachers are reluctant to ‘go there’ with their students citing a lack of support from colleagues, administrators or parents, the challenge of deciphering fact from misinformation, and most importantly, concern over adding more angst to students who may already be anxious or even depressed about their future. 

Research shows, however, that engaging with this challenging topic - rather than avoiding it - is the best way to replace fear with curiosity and instill hope and positive attitudes in our students.  Whether you teach junior or senior high school, understanding what climate change means for you and your students provides a rich, real, and authentic opportunity to practice critical thinking skills through an exploration of the scientific and social dimensions of this important and timely topic. 

As Joan Baez famously said “Action is the antidote to despair”.  In this spirit we invite you to join us for this highly engaging session that will increase your foundational knowledge of climate change, identify curriculum connections, highlight quality resources - and show you how to engage your students in meaningful and positive actions that give them hope for the future.  This workshop is designed specifically for Division III and IV teachers. Please bring a laptop or mobile device to be able to access the internet.  

 

Climate Curiosity: What You've Always Wanted to Know About Climate Change But Were Afraid to Ask

Does the topic of climate change make you uncomfortable?  Are you confused by all the conflicting information you hear in the news or in conversations around you?  Have you ever wondered what the debate is really about and why it is so polarizing? In this session, you’ll have the opportunity to ask your most burning questions about the scientific or social aspects of climate change.  We will then draw on the latest scientific and social research to address these questions and practice critical thinking at the same time - and send you out the door with some curriculum-tied resources you can use in your classroom.  The aim of this session is to equip you with strong foundational knowledge so you can feel confident discussing this important topic with those around you - including your students.  

 

How to Teach Controversial Energy or Environmental Issues in Your Classroom

Students hear a lot about the issues of our day such as climate change, or getting Alberta oil to tidewater. Teachers know the power of connecting student learning to current events for engaging students and practicing critical thinking skills.  But such topics can be daunting as there are often many perspectives to consider. And what to do when the issue you've chosen is controversial and might upset some parents? In this workshop, we'll review and practice ‘safe and effective’ strategies for unpacking with your students the scientific and social dimensions of complex issues using open-mindedness, curiosity, and respect.  We’ll also share with you great teaching resources to help you 'go there' with your students - without becoming part of the controversy. 

 

All-day Symposium: Action Begets Hope - How to Engage Your Students in Climate Solutions

Climate change is widely viewed as the most serious and pressing issue of our time, not only radically altering our environment but posing an unprecedented threat to humanity itself. Calgarians are feeling first-hand the effects of climate change as floods, extreme weather events, and smoke from wildfires become part of our new reality. In recognition of the seriousness and urgency of climate change, the City of Calgary’s city council unanimously adopted, in 2018, the Calgary Climate Resilience Strategy - a blueprint for reducing city-wide greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to changing conditions created by climate change. But what does this all mean for teachers and students - and how do we address this topic with success in a city and a province where our prosperity is linked to our oil and gas industry?

Join us for all or part of this all-day symposium as we explore what climate change means for Calgarians and especially, how you can unpack this complex issue with your students while delivering on your curriculum. In particular, we’ll equip you with information, techniques, and resources to confidently explore climate change with your students in a way that is evidence-based and invites open dialogue and critical thinking. We will also unveil Climate Schools for Climate Action - an exciting new opportunity for the school community to engage in student-led climate actions that support the Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy. You are welcome to join one, several, or all of the four exciting sessions we have lined up for the day. 

This symposium is specifically designed to help you:

Better understand the science of climate change specifically within the Calgary context;
Understand what the City of Calgary is doing to address this challenge, and how teachers and students can be part of the solution; 
Learn how to talk about climate change with your students in a depolarizing way; 
Develop strategies for engaging students in climate education and action in a way that links to the curriculum and is age-appropriate; 
Learn about programs, materials, and resources to support climate education and action for all ages.

 

Symposium Session #1 - Panel discussion - Climate Change Here and Now: Making Sense of It All

Join us for what promises to be a highly engaging conversation about what climate change means for Calgarians and why it matters. We’ll also discuss the need for advancing climate literacy in K-12 schools and how teachers can do this while delivering on the curriculum. We’ll start this session by a series of short presentations from a variety of local experts who will each offer a unique perspective on this complex topic. This will be followed by a question and answer period. You will then have an opportunity to unpack what you’ve heard through a facilitated table discussion with your teaching peers, grouped by subject and grade.

 

Symposium Session #2 - Let's Talk About It: Exploring Climate Change with Your Students

Climate change is part of the Alberta curriculum and is one of the most pressing issues we face. Yet, many teachers are reluctant to ‘go there’ with their students - citing a lack of support from colleagues, administrators or parents, the challenge of deciphering fact from misinformation, and most importantly, concern over adding more angst to students who may already be anxious or even depressed about their future.

Research shows, however, that engaging with this challenging topic - rather than avoiding it - is the best way to replace fear with curiosity and instill hope and positive attitudes in our students. Whether you teach elementary or secondary, understanding what climate change means for you and your students provides a rich, real, and engaging opportunity to practice critical thinking skills through an exploration of the scientific and social dimensions of this important and timely topic.

In this interactive session, we’ll share the latest findings of the Alberta Narratives Project and preliminary insights from the follow-up Youth Narratives Project and a provincial youth poll - all of which shed light on students’ attitudes toward climate change and how best to broach this complex topic with them. We will also model and practice specific techniques that can be used with students of all ages to advance literacy around climate change while delivering on your curriculum.

 

Symposium Session #3 - Let's Do Something About It: Calgary Schools for Climate Action

As Joan Baez famously said, “Action is the antidote to despair”. In this spirit, we invite you to learn more about the exciting new Calgary Schools for Climate Action initiative and discover how you can help your students develop and implement climate action plans that directly support the City of Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy.

In this interactive session, we’ll explore the main themes of climate mitigation and adaptation and demonstrate how schools can be key players in the climate solution through effective collective action that builds community pride and instills hope for the future. We’ll also unveil our brand-new Calgary Schools for Climate Action initiative, which invites Calgary's school community to join the City of Calgary in climate solutions.  We'll also show you how student-led climate actions can qualify schools for EcoSchools Canada’s environmental certification program - coming soon to Alberta.


Symposium Session #4 - Support for Teachers: Climate Education Resources

Whether you’re an old hand at engaging in climate education and action with your students or just starting down this path, don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the many excellent programs and resources that are available to Calgary teachers to support climate education and action. This session will follow a quick-paced ‘share fair’ format, beginning with a series of 2-min pitches by environmental education providers outlining key elements of their various offerings. Teachers will then rotate around to different tables to learn more about programs of interest.