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Rising to Challenges in Climate Change Education


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Keynote presentation by Professor Simon Haslett at the C-Change in GEES Event at the Macdonald Hotel, Manchester, 29th April 2010. Simon Haslett is Professor of Physical Geography and Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the University of Wales, Newport.

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Rising to Challenges in Climate Change Education

  1. 1. Rising to Challenges in Climate Change Education Keynote presentation to the C-Change in GEES Event Macdonald Hotel, Manchester Professor Simon K. Haslett Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching [email_address] 29 th April 2010
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Climate Change Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy of Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>Open Educational Resources </li></ul><ul><li>And then ….. </li></ul>Photo: Oxfam International
  3. 3. Climate Change Challenges <ul><li>Running out of time – 2020’s too late (significant impacts by then)? </li></ul><ul><li>Now is the last decade to moderate impact due to climate lag. </li></ul><ul><li>Next few cohorts are our ‘last hope’ graduates for change – do they know they are important? </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibility of lecturers to educate all about climate change and sustainability. Do we know? </li></ul><ul><li>Urgent, but lots of challenges ……. </li></ul>Photo: Kevin Dooley
  4. 4. COP15 <ul><li>Copenhagen Climate Summit – 7-18 th December 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Copenhagen Accord – not adopted, but “noted” by the conference (rejected by some e.g. Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba). </li></ul><ul><li>Allows global temperatures to rise by 2 ̊C. </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed countries to set their own emissions targets (by 31 st January 2010). </li></ul><ul><li>Green Climate Fund set up: $30bn in 2010-12, rising to $100bn by 2020. </li></ul><ul><li>Lacked a sense of urgency for action. </li></ul><ul><li>Post-conference fragmentation of action e.g. Peoples World Conference. </li></ul>Marc Kjerland
  5. 5. ClimateGate (CRU@UEA) <ul><li>Leaked/hacked emails – November 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Manipulation of evidence; </li></ul><ul><li>Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up; </li></ul><ul><li>Suppression of evidence; </li></ul><ul><li>Fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists; </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period; </li></ul><ul><li>how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process” ( Telegraph , 20-11-09). </li></ul><ul><li>BUT now cleared of malpractice by Lord Oxburgh. </li></ul><ul><li>Who recommends a statistician is recruited. </li></ul>wstera2
  6. 6. Himalayan Glaciers <ul><li>IPCC asserted that most Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035! </li></ul><ul><li>Based on a 1999 Indian scientist interview published in the New Scientist . </li></ul><ul><li>Pure speculation, not peer-reviewed! </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter editor not a glaciologist! </li></ul><ul><li>IPCC issued statement of retraction. </li></ul>Photo: Paul Fagan
  7. 7. Coldest winter for 31 years! <ul><li>1971-2000 mean winter temp is 3.7 ̊C </li></ul><ul><li>2009-2010 mean is 1.5˚C </li></ul><ul><li>1978-1979 mean was 1.17̊C </li></ul><ul><li>What “global warming”? </li></ul><ul><li>Weather vs climate – education. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Green Fatigue <ul><li>Students increasingly ‘over saturated’ and disinterested in learning about climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>How to sustain their interest? </li></ul><ul><li>(Robinson, in press) </li></ul>Photo: m00by
  9. 9. Disciplinarity <ul><li>Learning in a discipline may lead to ‘tunnel vision’. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages mono-causal thinking within subject theories and concepts. </li></ul><ul><li>Real world is multifaceted and requires inter-, multi-, cross-, and trans-disciplinarity of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy: problem-based learning may help. </li></ul><ul><li>(N æss, 2010) </li></ul>Photo: dullhunk
  10. 10. Bad News <ul><li>Biodiversity loss </li></ul><ul><li>Ice melting </li></ul><ul><li>Drought and famine </li></ul><ul><li>Desertification </li></ul><ul><li>Sea-level rise </li></ul><ul><li>Coastal erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Climate refugees </li></ul>
  11. 11. Pedagogy of Climate Change <ul><li>Book due out soon! </li></ul><ul><li>RGS-IBG Session 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>10 papers c. 5000 words each </li></ul><ul><li>Broad scope, wide interest </li></ul><ul><li>Sits within Education for Sustainable Development. </li></ul><ul><li>Telescopes from institution, through staff and students, to curriculum, learning resources, down to individual assessment items. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Open Educational Resources <ul><li>Non-academic vs academic OERs </li></ul><ul><li>The Wikipedia problem </li></ul><ul><li>Creating an OER culture without funding </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy: PowerPoints vs components? </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright, your institution and IPR. </li></ul><ul><li>Are OERs publications? Peer review? </li></ul><ul><li>Producing OERs as a routine exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Having the tools to hand </li></ul><ul><li>Getting advice? </li></ul>
  13. 13. OER Gateways
  14. 14. Conclusions <ul><li>Time is running out to moderate climate change impacts: Climate Change Education is ‘special’. </li></ul><ul><li>Graduates for change are in the system now. </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous challenges to overcome in climate change education, including outreach. </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy of Climate Change offers examples from the institutional level down to individual learning resources. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need for quality climate change learning resources to be routinely made openly available. </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>N æss, P., 2010. The dangerous climate of disciplinary tunnel vision. In: Bhaskar, R., Frank, C., Høyer, N æss, P. and Parker, J. (eds) Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change . Routledge, London, pp. 54-84. </li></ul><ul><li>Robinson, Z., in press. Teaching climate change in higher education: barriers and opportunities. In: Haslett, S. K., France, D., and Gedye, S. (eds) Pedagogy of Climate Change . HEA-GEES. </li></ul>