At its August 2020 Annual Representatives' Assembly, the Alberta Teachers' Association adopted two important resolutions related to climate change:
3-13/20 BE IT RESOLVED that the Association accept the scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is a real and critical challenge affecting the planet and the future of humanity.
3-14/20 BE IT RESOLVED that the Association support the inclusion of curriculum that explicitly addresses issues relating to anthropogenic climate change in a manner that is subject and age appropriate.
In keeping with the spirit of these resolutions, we believe that ALL education groups have a role to increase the climate literacy of Albertans - and we'll support you as you consider how to link environmental education in a way that builds climate literacy into your education and outreach programs. We'll also show you how to address this topic with success in a province where our prosperity owes much to our oil and gas industry. The following resources are available to help you with your work. Also, check out these useful climate education tips for teachers.
Resources to help you increase climate literacy
Roadmap to Excellent Climate Change Education - Six easy steps you can take to engage your students in climate education and move them from feeling axious and confused to feeling prepared and optimistic about their future.
Responding to Climate Change Education: A Primer for K-12 Education - This 2020 release from the Sustainability and Education Policy Network from the University of Saskatchewan lays out a whole-school approach to climate change education that stresses the importance of going beyond scientific understanding and also addressing the social-psychological factors that influence behavior and motivate action.
What is Excellent Climate Change Education? We are proud to launch our new guidebook, which seeks to help answer this question. We’ve pulled from several lines of evidence:
- Over 140 peer-reviewed, refereed academic articles.
- Non-academic publications from governments, NGO’s, etc.
- Practitioner best practices.
K-12 Resources for Teachers - We have compiled a list of climate change and energy resources for teachers.
Seven essential principles of climate literacy - A framework describing what we need know and understand about Earth’s climate, impacts of climate change, and approaches to adaptation or mitigation.
Climate Opinion Maps. Explore and compare the provinces to learn Canadian opinions on Climate Change. The maps were produced by the Université de Montréal along with other Universities in the US.
Understanding climate change terminology and data. Climate Resilient Consultants have created a few short modules presented here as videos to help you understand the concepts of RCPs, mean, variability and models.
How will climate change affect your community? Making climate change impacts locally relevant is key to engaging communities on this topic. On this page you can access some examples of local provincial data to inform your work.
Talking Climate Change - In fall of 2017, ACEE co-hosted an event with George Marshall of Climate Outreach. He delivered the workshop: "Talking Climate: How to engage your audiences in conversations about climate change". In 2018, ACEE engaged with the Alberta Public Narratives Project.
- Alberta Narratives Project First Report - great information on messages that work in Alberta
- Alberta Narratives Project Second Report - how to communicate with different audiences in Alberta
- Talking Climate Tip Sheet of Key Findings - a summary of some of the key findings for ways to talk about climate from work done in Canada
- The CBC interviewed George and the article provides some examples of language that could work in Alberta's context - Read the article.
- Young Voices: young people and climate change engagement strategies - provides some key findings and recommendations
- How do young people engage with climate change? The role of knowledge, values, message framing and trusted communicators - another resource from Climate Outreach
ACEE's Resource Hub - lists the many environmental, energy and climate change resources for K-12 Alberta educators. If resources are missing, please contact Maria Granados - diana[at]abcee.org
K-12 Solar Panel Resources - Many schools in Alberta have installed solar panels; we've curated quality resources to help you use this as a teaching opportunity.
Skeptical Science - Skeptical science is a non-profit science education organization with the goal of explaining common misconceptions about climate change based on peer-reviewed scientific research.
Climate Kids- Environment and Climate Change Canada has an launched an interactive website climate kids which focuses on empowering children and teens aged 8 to 15 years to take action on climate change.
Incorporating Climate Change in the Alberta Curriculum (check out the findings, conclusions and recommendations) - research conducted by Catherine Medynski (May, 2018) as part of her Masters in Arts at Royal Roads University. Her research explored the perceived factors required for the successful integration of climate change into the Alberta curriculum.
Resources from our Workshops for Environmental Educators
How to increase climate literacy through your education and outreach programs
In 2018, ACEE held full day sessions across Alberta to explore best practices for climate education and outreach, and to help agencies consider how to incorporate these practices into their programs. What was achieved in the workshops...
- Learning more about excellent climate change education and outreach, and sharing ideas
- Understanding climate change effects (present, and future) by regions
- Having their top-of-mind questions answered by colleagues, in open space sessions
- Developing plans to increase climate literacy through education and outreach programs
- Strengthening their local learning community and network
Calgary - Friday December 8 - RESOURCES
Edmonton - Monday January 8 - RESOURCES
Red Deer - Friday February 9 - This workshop was delivered as a 2 hour webinar due to weather and road challenges. RESOURCES
Webinar recording- click on the image below to watch the webinar
Workshops for Teachers
ACEE staff have decades of experience in delivering professional development workshops, from one-hour workshops to multi-day sessions. Click here to see a list of our latest workshops related to climate education. Contact us at marie[at]abcee.org if you'd like to book a workshop.
In 2017, we conducted two needs assessments: one of teachers and a second of environmental education and outreach agencies. Below is a summary of the surveys.
Over 200 Alberta teachers responded to the survey. Click here to read the full report, including the recommendations. A few highlights include:
The top three barriers teachers face delivering climate change education in the classroom are:
- Having to find their own resources
- Funding to engage students in authentic learning experiences
- Limited quality educational resources
What would help teachers the most as they include more climate change education:
- Opportunities for experiential learning beyond the classroom
- Curriculum and grade specific resources from external organizations
- Access to climate change experts
85 environmental educators and outreach professionals responded to this survey. Click here to review a more detailed summary. A few highlights include:
- 43% of respondents incorporate climate change into their programs
- 31% of respondents do not incorporate climate change into their programs
- 26% of respondents felt they incorporated climate change to some extent
Climate change was not incorporated into program because:
- We don't know how to do it in a hands-on, engaging way
- We don't have the time or funding to incorporate this topic in a meaningful way
- It doesn't apply to our programs
What do you need to effectively incorporate climate change into your programs?
- Tools and techniques for effectively engaging our audience on this topic
- Best practices for climate change education and outreach
- Connections with other 'educations' to learn best how to do this
Thank you to the following for supporting this work