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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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 

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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

 

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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. 

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Climate Change Teaching

Climate Change Quality Controlled Resources

The following resources have been assessed against the Quality Control framework , climate change content, and meet the criteria:

March 2024

Engineering UK Tackling Climate Change

January 2024

Royal Meteorological Society with Dr Frost Learning

Secondary Maths Resources

December 2023

National Education Nature Park

What is the Anthropocene?

Climate change: making change

Climate change and mental health

Carbon cycle passport

Making change

Royal Meteorological Society with the Royal Geographical Society

Resources based on the 2021/ 2022 IPCC report for A level and GCSE geography

Royal Meteorological Society with the Young People’s Trust for the Environment

Heatwaves

Royal Meteorological Society with Mathematics Education Innovation (MEI)

Maths Climate Change Resources

Royal Meteorological Society

Climate change concept association tool

Carbon dioxide – seasonal cycles

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

Royal Meteorological Society/ National Education Nature Park

Agree or disagree

UK Climate

The great debate

Greenhouse effect bulldog

Met Office/ National Education Nature Park

Exploring climate change data

Interpreting climate change models

Climate change P4C activities

Emotion line graphs

Royal Geographical Society/ National Education Nature Park

What is the difference between weather and climate?

Why is our climate like this?

Can climate change?

What will climate be in the future?

Does it matter if climate changes?

Royal Society/ National Education Nature Park

What do you want to know about climate change?

Thoughtbox/ National Education Nature Park

Changing climates

Changing climate cause and effects

Be the change

Phet/ National Education Nature Park

Greenhouse effect

Eden Project/ National Education Nature Park

Climate response

WWT/ National Education Nature Park

Climate champions

UCAR/ National Education Nature Park

Project drawdown

The Quality Control framework was developed as part of the National Climate Education Action Plan and in partnership with other organisations. 

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Climate Change maths Secondary Weather

Maths Resources for Scotland’s Curriculum

maths for planet earth

We are delighted to have worked with Education Scotland to tweak some of our maths resources to align them with Scotland’s Curriculum. 

These resources were developed a couple of years ago in conjunction with MEI, and allow teachers to demonstrate to their students how their maths skills are relevant to their understanding of issues associated with climate change.  

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Climate Change Teaching

Quality Control Framework

Climate Change Quality Mark Pedagogy

Climate Change Education Resources

Part 1- Self-assessment

Resource author/ publisher to complete:

  1. Resource title
  2. Type of resource (see definition*)
  3. Resource location (url or similar) with any required access passwords
  4.  Level/ age
  5. Curriculum links
  6. Give an overview of the climate content in this resource (is it a small/ medium/ major part of the resource).
  7. Are references given within the resource/ teacher support materials for all climate change information used?
  8. If not, what was the source for any climate change information included?
  9. Are you able to update the resource based on this evaluation?
  10.  What pedagogical approach is the resource based on?
  11.  Have you referred to any existing research on effective climate pedagogy (please give reference if you have)?
  12. Are the learning objectives, including knowledge and/ or skills, stated in the resource? If not, please list them.

Part 2 – Expert Assessment

Climate Content

  1. Are the links to climate change explicit?
  2. Are the references given/ sources used reputable, reliable and up to date?**
  3. Has the author accurately conveyed information from the sources:
    – Are there any significant errors in the content (using latest IPCC report and similar for authoritative guidance)?
    – Are there any minor errors in the content (using latest IPCC report and similar for authoritative guidance)?
  4.  Is there anything significant missing e.g. a caveat, uncertainty statement, other important/ relevant piece of information etc.?
  5. Are all the terms defined and all the graphs/maps well explained?
  6. Could the resource be used out of context, to mislead or to promote misconceptions?
  7. Does the resource meet the required political guidance to schools***

Part 3 – Expert Assessment

Pedagogy and Curriculum Relevance

a) Climate change specific
i. Are the references given for climate pedagogy reputable and up to date?
ii. Does the resource promote student resilience through development of appropriate knowledge/ skills?
b) General

i. Is the chosen pedagogical approach appropriate and appropriately used?
ii. Clear, appropriate and beneficial/ rich learning objectives and achievable learning outcomes
iii. Appropriate pitch and progression of knowledge and skills with links to prior (and future) learning.
iv. Curriculum alignment – clearly stated and appropriate, both in terms of knowledge and skills and broader subject specific way of thinking (e.g. science capitol, thinking like a geographer etc.)
v. Material presented in an accessible and engaging way.
vi. Promotes effective learning.
vii. Supports adaptive teaching.
viii. Inclusive – is the material relevant to the lives and/ or future careers of all students?
ix. Teacher support/ guidance available – enabling the resource to be used effectively in the classroom and promoting teachers’ own content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and professional development.

* The definition used by CooperGibson research (2018), in their independent work for the Department for Education, was as follows:

  • Online/printed resources: such as worksheets, lesson plan templates, videos that can be accessed via websites (either requiring membership/subscription or freely available to download).
  • Digital resources: mobile applications, software packages and tools that are interactive and can be used for setting and completing tasks (e.g. on a computer/mobile device).
  • Physical resources: predominantly textbooks and literary texts/library books, and revision guides.

** appropriate sources include recent IPCC reports, Carbon Brief, Global Carbon Atlas, Climate Action Tracker, NOAA, Met Office, Royal Meteorological Society/ MetLink, UKCP, WMO

*** Teaching about climate change, and the scientific facts and evidence behind this, does not constitute teaching about a political issue and schools do not need to present misinformation or unsubstantiated claims to provide balance. However, in climate education there is relevant political and scientific debate about the best ways that climate change can be addressed – there are different views and opinions, and different solutions. Debates on political and policy change need to be grounded in wider citizenship education on democracy and democratic values and topics should be handled in line with schools’ legal duties on political impartiality (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/political-impartiality-in-schools )

 

The Quality Control framework was developed as part of the National Climate Education Action Plan and in partnership with other organisations. 

A list of resources which have been successfully assessed against these criteria can be found here.

Categories
Climate Change Schools Teaching

Easy Wins for Climate Change Education in England

climate change in the curriculum

There are many opportunities for better climate change education within the current secondary school curriculum in England, reveals a report published by the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS).

A key finding was that, through supplying teacher support and assessment resources, very rapid improvements can be made to the climate literacy of English school leavers.

RMetS research reviewed the GCSE specifications across all subjects and exam boards and highlighted how many concepts already taught in schools are relevant to students’  understanding of climate change and its relevance to their future lives and careers.

Climate change is traditionally taught in subjects such as Geography, however not all students take Geography at GCSE meaning that a considerable proportion of students leave school without a basic understanding of climate change. Also, there are many aspects of climate change that are relevant to subjects like Design and Technology, Art, or English.

Earlier research published by RMetS in 2022, shows that there are notable gaps in how much students understand about climate change. However, students are concerned and believe that climate change will affect them personally. With the right support and without increasing teacher workload, teachers can help students to make the connection between what they are already learning in school and climate change.

Prof Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the RMetS, said: “The Royal Meteorological Society is working to ensure that every student in the UK leaves school with at least a basic understanding of climate change.

“This valuable report shows how teachers can be supported to deliver high quality climate education, within the current curriculum, to equip students with the knowledge and tools to engage with messages about climate change from the media and politicians, and to make decisions about their own lives and careers.

“We are indebted to the RMetS members involved in the review; without their support and expertise this work would have not been possible.”

For media enquiries, please contact Angela Lovell, Communications Manager (Royal Meteorological Society), at angela.lovell@rmets.org  or +44 (0)118 208 0483.

 

Categories
Climate Change Schools

Climate Literacy Survey Extended

climate literacy

We are very excited to announce that, in partnership with Ecorys and Ipsos and funded by the DfE, we will be extending the climate literacy survey of school leavers which we first ran in 2022.

Our baseline findings in 2022 highlighted that, despite around half of school leavers (54%) saying they have had education on climate change in the past year, confusion and misunderstanding prevail.

The DfE funding will allow us to broaden the annual survey, in terms of both the numbers of questions we are asking young people, and the number of young people being surveyed. 

Ecorys will also be evaluating the National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award, delivered by the Natural History Museum partnership. The programmes aim to give young people more outdoor learning opportunities, connect to nature, learn about climate change, and take positive action while developing numeracy and data science skills. The evaluation, funded by the DfE, will assess how the programmes run in practice and benefit education estates and young people.