What is Climate Change Education?
Climate change education is a vital part of environmental education, education for sustainable development and eco-social competence. Closely related are citizenship, human rights and media education, and education on global and future issues.
The main goals of climate education include building a sustainable future, inspiring action and practicing influencing skills at the social and personal levels. It is imperative not only to learn to understand climate change in-depth but also to change one’s own behaviour and actions. In this context, behaviour refers to action people take to tackle climate change. In addition to active citizens, many social institutions are developing mitigation and adaptation techniques, and climate education should provide at least basic information on these agents.
Climate Education in the Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education
Climate change is included among the core contents of the reformed Finnish national core curriculum for basic education. According to the curriculum, its fundamental values are based on so called eco-social competence. It encourages students to adopt such lifestyle and culture that respects human rights, natural diversity, renewability and aims to introduce competence for a sustainable circular economy. Understanding the urgency of climate change and learning how to tackle it are essential parts of eco-social competence.
It is important to establish climate change education in colleges and universities and to boost collaboration between different agents. Today climate change education, environmental education and education for sustainable development are taught relatively widely. However, there are many strategies and networks to implement them even more extensively. So far, implementation of climate education has been a duty of teachers and non-governmental organizations alike. Establishing multidisciplinary climate change knowhow in scientific research, daily life, work and studies requires implementing climate change education as a part of daily communication as well as upper secondary level and higher education.
Climate Education at Schools – Six Tips
Need for climate education has increased lately for the following reasons:
- Impacts of climate change are increasingly evident in nature and society, both globally and locally.
- There are many fallacies and preconceptions about climate change.
- Climate change is a pervasive phenomenon that requires a multidisciplinary approach, and understanding it in-depth requires comprehensive learning abilities. Comprehensive learning is not only based on defining concepts and learning by heart but it is closely linked to discerning the future, understanding complex relations between phenomena and implementing acquired knowledge.
Here are some tips on how to talk about climate change in your class: