BUILDING TEACHER CAPACITY TO BOLSTER ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE EDUCATION IN ALBERTA SCHOOLSCategory: 2021, Climate, Current, Grant
In ACEE’s 2020 survey of 500 youth across Alberta, 9 out of 10 respondents expressed concern for the environment and climate change and felt they lacked the knowledge, skills, and sense of agency to do anything about it. Many teachers recognize their students’ anxiety about their uncertain future and are eager to help prepare them for the many challenges they will face including addressing climate change, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and protecting our lands and waters. Yet as the ‘essential front-line workers’ of the educational system teachers feel ill-equipped to do this.
This project aims to deliver an on-line teacher professional learning program that provides pre- and in-service teachers from across Alberta with the knowledge, skills, and resources to integrate greater environmental and sustainability education into their everyday teaching. Through their participation teachers will increase their confidence and will learn practical strategies that help them overcome many of the barriers commonly faced in teaching about climate change and other environmental issues. Such barriers include: outdated curriculum and learning resources, pushback on teaching ‘controversial’ topics, a lack of foundational knowledge, and a lack of support from teaching colleagues.
Accessible to all teachers across Alberta, the program will be offered throughout the year to support on-demand learning, will cover a range of specific environmental topics that can be integrated across the curriculum, and will offer opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. Specific program elements include: an on-line environmental education certification program for pre-service teachers, a summer institute on climate education, a library of short recordings from our most popular teacher workshops, and an enhanced Resource Hub for teachers.
As a result of this project, teachers from across Alberta will have the opportunity to build their confidence and skills to engage their students in learning experiences that prepare them as our future environmental leaders.