Give our Students a Better Future by Advancing Environmental, Energy and Climate Education
Our Call to Action: There is a gap we need to close and we need your help!
We have a big problem in Alberta: our young people lack environmental and energy literacy, knowledge about climate—and hope for the future. Our students are asking for education that closes this gap and addresses this problem. Alberta students deserve to learn how to balance the complexities of stewarding nature, meeting energy demand, reducing greenhouse gases, and creating prosperity - and we're not there yet. Their teachers work hard, but tell us they lack quality resources to use in their teaching, and are limited by a curriculum that does not adequately address energy and climate.
Here’s our evidence.
In 2020, we polled 500 Alberta youth and led focus groups with 172 Alberta students.
Our Ask of Education Leaders
Together, we can solve this problem. Alberta students deserve more environmental education, helping them prepare for the future that they will inhabit, the jobs they’ll create, and the society they’ll build. By empowering students to become active citizens, environmental education gives them hope for the future. For over a decade we have worked with opinion leaders, school board and government officials, and youth on how to solve this problem. On behalf of Alberta’s almost 750,000 K-12 students, we call upon Alberta’s education leaders to create or enhance policies and plans that give students more environmental education.
We ask the Alberta government to…
- Strengthen the Alberta curriculum by incorporating the community’s recommendations, captured in the Curriculum for a Sustainable Future
- Support and fund more relevant professional learning for practicing and pre-service teachers
- Help school boards implement more cost-saving energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions in schools – and link these to student learning
We ask the Trustees and Superintendents who govern school boards to ‘take the next step’ in their work…
- Recognize and celebrate best practices in this area by schools, teachers, and students
- Promote and enhance outdoor education, making it easier for teachers to connect students with nature
- Emphasize relevant teacher professional learning
- Implement more cost-saving energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions in schools - and link these to student learning
- Create student advisory groups to engage youth voice
We ask the Alberta Teachers’ Association to enhance teacher professional learning, helping teachers...
- Better connect their curriculum to topics in the environment/energy/climate space
- Access quality teaching resources
- Take their students outdoors, fostering students' wellness and connection to community – and keeping them healthy during COVID-19
- Support student critical thinking around controversial issues
- Support student environmental citizenship through actions projects – giving our kids hope for the future
Our Ask of Parents and Other Members of the Public
- Share this webpage with your friends and family
- Share this webpage – and 'our ask of Trustees and Superintendents' – with your local school trustee and superintendent, then ask them what they will do to support this
- Share this webpage - and ‘our ask of the Alberta government’ – with your MLA, then ask them what they will do to support this
- Download our slide deck and use it to engage a key audience
Students Want and Need Environmental Education
Don't just take our word for it, check out what Alberta youth are saying about environmental education:
Chloe: "Environmental, energy, and climate education is important to me because I feel it will further the understanding of not only youth, but the teachers and parents as well."
Chris: "We need to support teachers because they mold they ideas of change in youth. They are our mentors in change. And we need to support that."
Sasha: "We know the flaws and benefits better than anyone, and we can provide so much insight as to what it feels like to be a teen today, because, at the end of the day, we’re going to be the ones who have to deal with environmental problems and we’re already starting to see its effects. And we can’t handle this future without environmental education..."
Kelly: "Having environmental education will cultivate knowledgeable and caring future generations who will be brave instead of fearful and hopeful instead of hopeless."