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Blog Climate Change Teaching

5 Common Climate Misconceptions

Paul Turner from the Ministry of Eco Education asked Sylvia Knight from the RMetS about some of the misconceptions that frequently appear in teaching resources and conversations. 

The interview covers:

  • ‘Greenhouse gases absorb the Sun’s energy’
  • Greenhouse gases form a layer high in the atmosphere
  • Local emissions of greenhouse gases have local impacts
  • Tree planting will solve climate change
  • Carbon footprints are useful to explore personal impacts.
Categories
Climate Climate Change CPD Geography Microclimates Schools Secondary Teaching Weather

Weather and Climate: updated Teachers’ CPD

weather and climate teachers guideWe have just updated and extended the ‘More for Teachers’ information associated with our award-winning Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide. These information sheets are designed to provide CPD for teachers of geography who would like to improve or update their weather and climate subject knowledge. 

The teachers’ guide and the accompanying online teaching resources, aim to give UK geography teachers all that they need to deliver relevant, engaging and thorough weather and climate lessons to 11–14+ year old students. They are not linked to any specific curriculum but should be easily adaptable to all.

There are 20 topics or chapters. Across these, there are three threads or paths which can be taken through the online resources, depending on the teaching time available:

Basic weather: Weather in our lives, weather measurements, weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, air masses, pressure and wind and water in the atmosphere

Climate: Weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, past climate change, polar climate, hot deserts, changing global climate, UK climate, changing UK climate, the climate crisis

Extending weather: Anticyclones, depressions, microclimates, urban weather, tropical cyclones.

The Royal Meteorological Society believes that:

  • all students should leave school with basic weather literacy that allows them to understand the weather that affects them, their leisure activities and the careers they choose to follow
  • every student should leave school with basic climate literacy that would enable them to engage with the messages put forward by the media or politicians and to make informed decisions about their own opportunities and responsibilities.

To this end, we have embedded a climate change thread throughout the online resources, showing its relevance to both weather and climate. An understanding of weather and climate is fundamental to an understanding of climate change.

There is a progression of knowledge through the topics, supported by review and assessment activities. The resources also progressively develop key geographical skills such as data, mapwork, GIS, fieldwork and critical thinking.

We also include common misconceptions which should be challenged in the classroom.

Many of the online teaching resources are available with standard or easier versions, as well as extension or alternative activities.

Find the scheme of work, teaching resources, background information for teachers, as well as the Teachers’ Guide here

Categories
Blog Climate Change Curriculum maths Teaching

New Maths Lesson with Climate Context

We are delighted to have collaborated with the resource team at Dr Frost Learning to add a new maths lesson with a climate change context to the set we published earlier this year.

The new resource, which focusses on “changing the subject of a linear formula involving brackets and fractions” has a question in the context of 2023 being confirmed as the hottest year on record.

Dr Frost Learning are working to explicitly interweave the applications of various mathematical ideas to climate change in order that students gain a better understanding from their studies.

This work follows research we published in 2022  in partnership with Ipsos, showing the need and want for better climate education in schools. The study revealed that just under half of pupils in Year 11 could not recall being taught about climate change in the past year, with 20% believing that they have never been taught about it. Over 60% of students stated they feel very concerned about the impact of climate change in their lifetimes, but many of them showed limited understanding of the science and its impacts.

Our 2023 report demonstrated the opportunities for including climate change across the secondary  school curriculum in England and we are delighted to have worked with Dr Frost Learning to turn some of the recommendations from this report into classroom resources.

The resources demonstrate to students that the maths skills they are learning are relevant to their understanding of climate change, without increasing curriculum load.

Categories
Blog Climate Change Curriculum Teaching

Quality Control of Climate Education Resoures

Paul Turner from the Ministry of Eco Education asked Sylvia Knight from the RMetS about why it’s important to consider the quality of a climate education resource, and how the NCEAP quality control framework is being used. 

Categories
Article Blog Climate Change Curriculum Teaching

A new Climate for Design Education?

Last year, Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the RMetS, talked to a Technology teacher on behalf of Pearson. 

The teachers we worked with on our project stressed that what they needed was support, particularly in rapidly-evolving areas like D&T. They mentioned wanting things like CPD resources for themselves, case studies, data, sample assessment questions and high-quality, adaptable lesson resources. In your opinion, within the constraints of the current specifications and national curriculum, what would help you improve the climate literacy of your students without increasing workload for you and your colleagues, or information overload for your learners?

Read the full article here.

 

Categories
Books Climate Change Primary

Book Review: A Climate in Chaos

A climate in chaos book
 
A Climate in Chaos

And How You Can Help

Author: Neal Layton 
Year: 2020
Publisher: Wren&rook
Suggested age range: 7-10
Price: £7.99

A Climate in Chaos is a 30-page, comprehensively illustrated book which was shortlisted for the Association for Science Education’s Book of the Year awards in 2021.

“Hey folks! Have you heard about climate change? It’s really important. It affects all of us living on Planet Earth right now.” This is how the book starts and finishes, presumably with the aim of explaining why in the pages between – I think it achieves that very well.

It has a lovely overview of the difference between weather and climate, greenhouse gases and climate change before dedicating almost half the book to mitigation strategies ranging from the very small actions that individual young people could easily take, to national-scale policies.  

What I don’t like about this book is very limited but includes that it falls into the common trap of drawing the greenhouse gases in a layer at the top of the atmosphere (a bit like the ozone layer), and maybe that the impacts of climate change it lists focus entirely on the natural world. Including some impacts on people might help the issue seem more relevant.

This book would probably appeal most to a keen reader, particularly if they already had an interest in science and/ or the natural world.

 

Categories
Blog Climate Change Curriculum maths Teaching

New Maths Lessons with Climate Contexts

We are delighted to have collaborated with the resource team at Dr Frost Learning to create new maths lessons which include contexts such as weather, climate science, and renewable energy. 

Dr Frost Learning are working to explicitly interweave the applications of various mathematical ideas to climate change in order that students gain a better understanding from their studies.

This work follows research we published in 2022  in partnership with Ipsos, showing the need and want for better climate education in schools. The study revealed that just under half of pupils in Year 11 could not recall being taught about climate change in the past year, with 20% believing that they have never been taught about it. Over 60% of students stated they feel very concerned about the impact of climate change in their lifetimes, but many of them showed limited understanding of the science and its impacts.

Our 2023 report demonstrated the opportunities for including climate change across the secondary  school curriculum in England and we are delighted to have worked with Dr Frost Learning to turn some of the recommendations from this report into classroom resources. 

The resources demonstrate to students that the maths skills they are learning are relevant to their understanding of climate change, without increasing curriculum load. 

Categories
Article Blog Climate Change Curriculum Teaching

Climate Change and the Natural History GCSE

Last month, Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the RMetS, talked to the OCR about the proposed Natural History GCSE. 

“Whilst the Natural History GCSE is not and should not be a ‘climate change GCSE’ (in my opinion, the Statistics GCSE is actually best placed to be delivered entirely within a context of climate change), the inherent and intrinsic links between climate change and the natural world, in terms of impacts, adaptation and mitigation, are too numerous for climate change not to be near the core of the new qualification.”

Read the full article here

 

Categories
Blog Climate Change CPD Curriculum Teaching

Climate Change Concept Association Tool

This exciting new interactive tool is for curriculum developers and other communicators to explore the diverse range of concepts associated with climate change and the links between them.

Which aspects of climate change are well covered by a proposed curriculum, where are there gaps, missed links, duplication or inadequate progression?

We’d love to hear back from you if you use the tool, or if you spot missing concepts or links – please email the Society.

There is a glossary of all the terms in the tool, and we have started tagging all the climate change teaching resources on MetLink so that they link well to the terms and concepts in the tool.

It’s a work in progress and we look forward to further developing the functionality and support through 2024.

For example, you could start with the term action, which serves as the primary catalyst for change. Action, in this context, depends on normative feedbackreflecting social influences based on expectations and values. This relationship leads us to the concept of society where communities influence and are influenced by actions, policies and norms. At the heart of society are individuals, whose actions are shaped by factors like scepticism or indifferenceThe collective actions of individuals drive societal changerepresenting a transformation in norms, values and behaviours. Importantly, this change can yield co-benefits extending beyond climate stability and delivering broader social and ecological benefits. These concepts are all rooted in the overarching goal of sustainabilityaiming to improve well-being for current and future generations.

However, much of society and industry is bogged down in greenwashing where claims of responsibility don’t align with actions. To achieve meaningful change, we must identify solutions including innovations and guidelines that promote positive action while discouraging harmful practices.These solutions are intricately linked to policy encompassing regulations, laws, and taxes that steer societal change. Effective policies and actions depend on individuals, organisations, and governments taking responsibility for the future. The success of our collective efforts hinges on effective communication compelling the world to recognise the necessity for change. Additionally, we must acknowledge and engage with barriers to action spanning cultural, social, political, economic, technical and legal obstacles.

These concepts represent just one interconnected web of issues. 

Categories
Schools Teaching

MetMark Scheme Update

Congratulations to the following schools which achieved a MetMark in 2023:

Didcot Girls’ School
Masefield Primary School
Kilmarnock Academy
Tanbridge House
Outwood Primary Academy
Danes Hill School

The MetMark is awarded by the Royal Meteorological Society and Met Office which recognises excellence in weather and climate teaching, over and above the normal requirements of the National Curriculum or exam specifications. 

However, we have now made the difficult decision to end this initiative – congratulations to every setting which successfully applied for a MetMark over the last 9 years.