Sustaınabılıty ın clımate change educatıon

Education has a very important role in all sub-headings of sustainability. It has very important role also in sustainability of life on earth as indicated in all its sub-headings. There is no other planet discovered in the universe where life exists. Human beings should protect the world where they live in, in order to maintain existence and should learn deliberative use of resources that they possess. The most important problem of our age is that all humanity should fight against climate change all together. So, is it possible to win this fight with today’s youth who have not sufficient knowledge about the issue and the effects of climate change and the ways how the planet can prevent this and is it possible to actualize efficient practices regarding this problem? The answer to these questions would be “no” unfortunately. What can we do about this as educators?

Discussions regarding education requirements in terms of climate change ongoing for a long period, refer that this subject will be the center of learning in science, math, and social sciences in the near future. In many countries, teaching climate change as a subject heading in curriculum, might be one of the best practices to raise individuals who delicately assess information sources in this regard, demonstrate scepticism when it is required and obtain deliberative results about how the world we live in, and the ecosystem operate and who have critical thinking skills. 

Creating a curriculum that arises awareness on students and that also prepares them to combat with climate change, has a greater importance more than ever. Within the scope of a climate change course, students will have knowledge of subjects such as heating, cooling, states of matter, water cycle, greenhouse effect, different types of energy, carbon emissions and carbon footprint, weather conditions and seasons in addition to many others.  In this process, teachers play important roles. First and above all, teachers are required to use teaching technologies and teaching strategies increasing long-term persistency in memory.

Especially, teachers assume an important role in creating curriculum for correct climate change education and in ensuring that students discover the subjects such as environmental management, decision-making and ethics. Climate change is an intergenerational concern, and an innovative curriculum will ensure development of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, cooperation, communication, and media and technology literacy that are required for students to think carefully about the crises, to find sustainable solutions and to practice these solutions.

Developing a curriculum regarding climate change that is a complex subject, can scare teachers at the first stage. To develop an efficient teaching program, first, teachers and program developers should focus on their lesson plans that should have a fascinating and experimental methodology and content suitable for related ages and most importantly, they should focus on a curriculum that was graded scientifically as having specific learning outcomes. Besides, it is expected that teachers are able to use digital opportunities provided, in their classes. In this regard, STEM4CLIM8 project will serve as an accessible and efficient source for teachers. Lesson plans developed within the scope of the project, Minecraft games where climate change is integrated, and the Raspberry Pi based computer console are some of the important tools that teachers can use in teaching climate change. Experiences of teachers regarding use of these tools will be shared on the project webpage.


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