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Climate Change Education FNQ
Associate Professor Hilary Whitehouse
School of Education
What is Climate Change Education?
The Australian Curriculum has been written to equip
young Australians with the skills, k...
What is Climate Change Education?
Sustainability Cross-Curriculum Priority
Sustainability education is futures-oriented, f...
The biggest challenge is to teach hope for solutions,
transformations and capacity – love of and for this
beautiful Earth
...
Dimensions of climate change education
- Education about climate change
- Education to counteract climate denial
- Educati...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education about climate
change
Basically, climate change is a
pollution problem and poll...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education about climate
change - what is is, how it
happened, changes that are
happening...
Education about climate
change denial – ignorance
educators can do something
about, unfortunately information
does not alw...
John Howard, the last Liberal prime
minister and mentor Tony Abbott [will]
deliver the keynote lecture at the annual
meeti...
Maurice Newman, the former chairman of
the ABC and the ASX and now chair of
Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council,
has l...
“The idea that many Australians – including our new PM and my
distant cousin Nick Minchin – believe that the science of
an...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education for mitigation
is an educational form of
direct action - what we can do
about ...
In primary and secondary
schools and early childhood
centres …

Partnerships are central
to mitigation education
Reduction...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education for adaptation
KEY QUESTION: how will we adapt to
the expected 2 degree C (min...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education for adaptation
means coordinated LOCAL
responses across
Teaching and learning
...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education for resilience
KEY QUESTIONS:
How will we maintain our
democracy and the stron...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education for resilience
KEY MESSAGE: Expenditures on
children’s health and well-being
a...
What is Climate Change Education?
Education for ecological
restoration enhances
social/ecological
interdependence
KEY MESS...
The many benefits of school gardens include climate
change education for mitigation, adaptation and
resilience (individual...
Environmental integrity
is essential to human
health and well being –
social and cultural.
Educators are in a very
powerfu...
Mapping the Australian Curriculum for climate change education
Core content of the Australian Curriculum: Science (F-10)
h...
Mapping the Australian Curriculum for climate change education

•
•

•

•

Perhaps the three most controversial elements o...
Summary
Closing the gap between danger and relative safety is still
doable, as long as we start now. Delay only means high...
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Climate Change Education - A/Prof Hilary Whitehouse

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Transcript of "Climate Change Education - A/Prof Hilary Whitehouse"

  1. 1. Climate Change Education FNQ Associate Professor Hilary Whitehouse School of Education
  2. 2. What is Climate Change Education? The Australian Curriculum has been written to equip young Australians with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to engage effectively with and prosper in a globalised world. Students will gain personal and social benefits, be better equipped to make sense of the world in which they live and make an important contribution to building the social, intellectual and creative capital of our nation. See http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/CrossCurriculumPriorities
  3. 3. What is Climate Change Education? Sustainability Cross-Curriculum Priority Sustainability education is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. Actions that support more sustainable patterns of living require consideration of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence. See http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/CrossCurriculumPriorities/Sustainabi lity
  4. 4. The biggest challenge is to teach hope for solutions, transformations and capacity – love of and for this beautiful Earth Sustainability and climate change education can be taught at all year levels and across all school disciplines – English, Geography, History, Science, Mathematics, Economics, Health and Physical Education, Marine and Agricultural Studies etc. There are no discipline limits.
  5. 5. Dimensions of climate change education - Education about climate change - Education to counteract climate denial - Education for climate change mitigation carbon pollution abatement - Education for climate change adaptation short term abrupt and severe weather events long term environmental change - Education to enhance personal, community and ecological resilience - Education for transformation All underpinned by values education
  6. 6. What is Climate Change Education? Education about climate change Basically, climate change is a pollution problem and pollution is an unwanted product of poorly designed social and economic arrangements. The greenhouse effect: what is happening to the atmosphere and ocean as a result of too much carbon pollution; Chemistry and physics and mathematics of climate change; Current and predicted biological, ecological, agricultural, social economic and cultural impacts of climate change.
  7. 7. What is Climate Change Education? Education about climate change - what is is, how it happened, changes that are happening now, future risks, projections of change (IPCC Report 2013), statistics and understanding probability and therefore the evidence for different global and local scenarios. Key message: Change is happening. Key challenge: How to teach with hope
  8. 8. Education about climate change denial – ignorance educators can do something about, unfortunately information does not always change minds. Educators do face hostility, aggressiveness, threats & trolling. Sources of denial include powerful media and right wing politics; the manufacture of “debate’; shooting the messenger tactics; support for denial thinktanks by well funded corporate interests; sophisticated communication strategies promoting doubt and ‘disbelief’; and politicization of messages. Why aren't we listening to the insurers, the hardest business heads of all? I would have thought Australia would be leading the world in developing a new economy because climate change is going to devastate Australia. David Suzuki writing in the Sydney Morning Herald September 18 2013 http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tony-abbott-will-doom-futuregenerations-if-he-ditches-carbon-tax-201309172tx0j.html#ixzz2iESmBUQ5
  9. 9. John Howard, the last Liberal prime minister and mentor Tony Abbott [will] deliver the keynote lecture at the annual meeting of the most prominent climate skeptic group in the UK, the Global Warming Policy Foundation … founded by former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson in 2009. It disputes any scientific consensus on climate change, and is strongly antirenewables. The title of Howard’s speech, to be made on November 5 2013 at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London, is “One religion is enough.” Climate skeptic groups like to describe the science around global warming as “a religion”, and those who support action on climate change as “believers”. Giles Parkinson: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/tony-abbottsmentor-john-howard-to-address-climate-skeptic-group93692
  10. 10. Maurice Newman, the former chairman of the ABC and the ASX and now chair of Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council, has launched an attack against … the “myth” of anthropological climate change [in] … the Australian Financial Review, Newman said much of the public service infrastructure would be resistant to change because of their “vested interests” in the status quo. “The CSIRO, for example, has 27 scientists dedicated to climate change,” Newman wrote. “It and the weather bureau continue to propagate the myth of anthropological climate change and are likely to be critics of the Coalition’s Direct Action policies.”… Money spent on pursuing the myths of climate change and global action was “wasted”. Giles Parkinson http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/tony-abbottsbusiness-advisor-attacks-myth-climate-change-53017
  11. 11. “The idea that many Australians – including our new PM and my distant cousin Nick Minchin – believe that the science of anthropogenic global is controversial, is a powerful indicator of the extent of our failure to communicate. The fact that 30 per cent of the people in this room just bristled, is further evidence still. That fact that that bristling is more to do with politics than science is even more despairing.” Tim Minchin on receiving an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia and delivering the occasional address. September 2013 https://plus.google.com/+TimMinchin/posts
  12. 12. What is Climate Change Education? Education for mitigation is an educational form of direct action - what we can do about carbon pollution and reducing carbon emissions across all aspects of daily life. In schools, mitigation education means participating in community-based learning partnerships and implementing specific projects around energy, water, waste and biodiversity.
  13. 13. In primary and secondary schools and early childhood centres … Partnerships are central to mitigation education Reduction in polluting activities and increase in natural carbon capture (photosynthesis, soil) Energy savings (all FNQ electricity is generated by coal fired plants) Waste management (litter reduction, recycling, worm farming, composting) Water conservation Biodiversity support in school sites
  14. 14. What is Climate Change Education? Education for adaptation KEY QUESTION: how will we adapt to the expected 2 degree C (minimum) rise in global temperatures already in the climate system? Schools represent significant government investment in infrastructure. We are only beginning to think about infrastructure matters – see 2013 report from the Climate Institute titled Dangerous degrees: Risking Australia’s prosperity, security and health.
  15. 15. What is Climate Change Education? Education for adaptation means coordinated LOCAL responses across Teaching and learning Curriculum Social support / pastoral care School infrastructure Leadership Systemic settings (policies and regulations) Parents and Community Local and state government initiatives Partnerships We will need to learn what will work in our own contexts
  16. 16. What is Climate Change Education? Education for resilience KEY QUESTIONS: How will we maintain our democracy and the strong social, cultural and community relationships necessary for raising and teaching children given large, predicted and surprising environmental changes? How will we protect children’s health and well-being? Young people will need to be resilient. Can we educate for resilience?
  17. 17. What is Climate Change Education? Education for resilience KEY MESSAGE: Expenditures on children’s health and well-being and preventative health and on early years education pay long dividends into the future. Research definitively shows, strong communities are more resilient.
  18. 18. What is Climate Change Education? Education for ecological restoration enhances social/ecological interdependence KEY MESSAGE: It is very cost efficient to preserve, conserve and restore Australia’s biodiversity. Schools have a strong role to play as collectively occupy large tracts of public and private land ad have a minimum 40% reach into their local community. (ABS figures: 19% of Australians at school every day as students and staff.)
  19. 19. The many benefits of school gardens include climate change education for mitigation, adaptation and resilience (individual and team skills, learning about soil, plants, insects and food security) in addition to many proven cognitive benefits for literacy, numeracy and science learning. See William, D.R. & Dixon, P.S. ( 2013) Impact of garden-based learning on academic outcomes in schools: Synthesis of research between 1990 and 2012. Review of Educational Research 83:211 Doi: 10.3102/0034654313475824
  20. 20. Environmental integrity is essential to human health and well being – social and cultural. Educators are in a very powerful position to leverage more desirable futures.
  21. 21. Mapping the Australian Curriculum for climate change education Core content of the Australian Curriculum: Science (F-10) http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Australian%20Curriculum.pdf Numerous content “elaborations” suggest examples for implementations of concepts • • • • • Conservation of natural resources and recycling are introduced in Year 2 (pp. 24-25). Recycling and pollution included in the Year 3 elaborations (p. 27). In Year 4 the main theme of the “Earth and space sciences” sub-strand is that “Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity” (p. 32). Solar panels , sustainable energy sources are introduced in Year 6 (p. 41) as is the study of natural disasters (pp. 41-42). And students in Year 6 “describe and predict the effect of environmental changes on individual living things” (p. 44). In Year 7 students learn that humans impact natural habitats as well as about interactions within an ecosystem, renewable energy resources and sustainability (pp. 4548) E.G. explore “how land management practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can help inform sustainable management of the environment” (p. 47).
  22. 22. Mapping the Australian Curriculum for climate change education • • • • Perhaps the three most controversial elements of a school science curriculum—Big Bang Theory of the origin of the universe, evolution by natural selection, and global warming—are considered in detail in the Year 10 curriculum. Year 8 students may learn about technology that relates to sustainability, such as recycling systems and solar-powered cars (p. 53). Ecosystem sustainability and human-caused environmental changes are part of the Year 9 “biological sciences” sub-strand (. p57). Reference is to “considering how choices related to the use of fuels are influenced by environmental considerations” (p. 60). Part of the overarching description of the Year 10 curriculum states that, within the curriculum, “Relationships between aspects of the living, physical and chemical world are applied to systems on a local and global scale and this enables students to predict how changes will affect equilibrium within these systems” (p. 63). Global systems,, human impact, and climate change form a key part of the “Earth and space sciences” sub-strand in Year 10 (p. 64). Students consider “the role of science in identifying and explaining the causes of climate change” (p. 65). Reference is made to discussing the use and impacts of science in the media, and to using science to evaluate claims (such as those “relating to environmental footprints” *pp. 66 – 68) CRISE CCE Curriculum mapping project to be completed in December/January school holidays. If you’d like to be part of this please email hilary.whitehouse@jcu.edu.au
  23. 23. Summary Closing the gap between danger and relative safety is still doable, as long as we start now. Delay only means higher costs and fewer options” John Connor, Climate Institute, 2013 Many schools in FNQ have made an admirable start to teaching students about the real world in which we now live. This is a new situation for all of us. Schools need to be learning organisations in order to address the substantial risks posed by climate change.
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