We’ve created a library of educational resources to decode climate science and face the crisis with journalism, activism and art.
CO2 written on a blackboard. (Credit: Getty Images Signature)
Teaching climate change is a daunting task for educators, whether for lack of knowledge, resources or support.
A 2021 UNESCO study found that while 95% of teachers consider climate change education important to teach, only 40% feel confident to teach it.
Students are equally dismayed. A 2019 Eurobarometer survey found that 41% of 15-20 year olds in the EU feel that climate change is not adequately taught in schools.
To close that confidence gap and demystify teaching about climate change, we’ve created innovative, accessible educational resources that empower young people with knowledge, skills, voice and a platform to inform and influence others through art and journalism. Resources range from short videos and articles to ready-made lessons and small group activities.
Covering the basics
In “A Rough Guide to the Climate Crisis,” Matthew Pye, philosophy teacher and founder of the Climate Academy, examined the urgency and impact of the climate crisis through psychological, philosophical and sociological lenses.
“In every school it should be really obvious what the true dimensions, the incredible dimensions of the climate crisis are,” Pye said. “But unfortunately they’re not.”
The five-part series of videos, each from 10-15 minutes long, decodes essential science concepts such as planetary boundaries, tipping points and what it will take to cut CO2 emissions levels worldwide. One video provides a blueprint for creating public art projects in schools to inform and inspire others about the climate crisis. An accompanying student course book is available on the Climate Academy website.
Turning ideas into action
In the three-part video series Climate Journalism Shorts, students and teachers can learn concrete steps to put their science knowledge into action and develop original climate-focused stories.
Our environmental reporters share tips and advice for finding a good angle for a climate story, preparing for interviews and creating podcasts.
“A good climate change story can be a lot of things,” said Alister Doyle, correspondent and author of The Great Melt. “The trick is to find a new angle to a theme people think they know about from before.”
Correspondent Malcolm Davidson said that climate stories can be complicated. “The key to a good story is to try to explain the complex in a simple way without ending up being superficial,” Davidson said. “Try to find real-life examples of how the climate is changing conditions in your region, and use those examples to explain what is happening and what might happen in the future.”
They also advise bringing a healthy dose of journalist’s skepticism when interrogating sources.
“Be constantly vigilant for so-called ‘greenwashing’ as institutions from governments to corporations downwards try to throw a green mantle over their actions to overemphasize the positive and disguise the negative,” said correspondent Jeremy Lovell. “Face value is just that — do not accept it.”
Communications specialist Pooja Chowdhary highlighted the benefits of the podcast medium for telling environmental stories.
“Climate change can sometimes feel like a very overwhelming and complex topic,” Chowdhary said. “But what I really think is that the intimacy and the informality of podcast can help us create a comfortable space to unpack these big ideas and make it more relatable and definitely less intimidating.”
We invite teachers and students anywhere in the world to submit their stories to News Decoder for possible publication.
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