Recommendations by Students for Alberta's Educational Leadership
In 2020, AYLEEE students came together to review and update the student white paper from 2016. The result, a new paper titled "Supporting Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Climate Education in Alberta Schools: Recommendations by Students for Alberta's Educational Leadership." This paper outlines what students feel has been achieved since the publication of the 2016 paper, what still needs to be addressed, and new recommendations for embedding environment, energy, sustainability, and climate education in Alberta schools. You can also check out the 2016 student white paper that was written in response to a survey of over 3000 students here.
2020 Student Recommendations:
- Recommendations on Curriculum and Student Applications
- A framework for climate, environmental, and energy literacy must be integrated throughout ALL classes, from Kindergarten to Grade 12
- Incorporate hands-on learning experiences that promote environmental stewardship and advocacy skills that can be applied to everyday life
- Introduce more opportunities for pilot projects related to climate education
- Recommendations on School Infrastructure
- Secure sustainable funding for infrastructure projects
- Ensure the effective and efficient design of new schools and renovations for old schools
- Develop composting and recycling infrastructure for all schools
- Engage students in school infrastructure projects and ensure their voice is heard
- Partner with community and/or industry groups to provide extra money in the form of grants and funds to encourage student-led infrastructure initiatives inside schools
- Create a Student Environmental Advisory Committee for every Alberta school
- Recommendations on Teacher Professional Development
- Educate teachers about environmental, energy, and climate topics
- Provide teachers with up-to-date resources for teaching about climate change and how it will affect our future
- Recommendations on Transportation
- Promote public transit and alternative transportation methods
- Use renewable energy and/or alternative fuel sources to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from fossil fuels, and assist in mitigating possible health conditions
- Provide more opportunities for extensive, reliable, and affordable bus systems serving both urban and rural areas
ACEE's proposal to support the student recommendations
ACEE is ready to lead this work with education stakeholders to deliver on the student recommendations. Our work will include the following:
- Continue to work with Alberta Education, educational leadership, and key education stakeholders to ensure that new curriculum includes environmental, energy and climate change education across all grades and subjects students' recommendations are implemented.
- Work with the provincial government to provide funding for schools to implement energy efficiency/renewable energy solutions that are linked to and support student learning and engagement.
- Create a provincial youth network to engage high school students in a provincial conversation as they advise and share best practices with government, school boards, other education stakeholders and media.
- Enhance ACEE's searchable database to ensure quality environmental, energy and climate change programs are easily accessible for Alberta teachers - and use this database to identify gaps and work with stakeholders to ensure the gaps are filled.
- Provide capacity-building opportunities (Climate Leadership Clinics) for school divisions to help them develop and implement their own Climate Leadership Plan for their school division.
- Dramatically increase teacher professional learning on environmental, energy and climate change education, working with existing teacher professional learning programs (Alberta Regional Consortia, Alberta Teachers' Association - specialist councils, and conventions).
- Host annual conferences to connect teachers and agencies, celebrate best practices and reinforce the benefits of this important work.
- Evaluate the success of this work (measure new opportunities in curriculum, increased teacher capacity, increased students' environmental, energy and climate change literacy, and reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions)