“Climate change education is about helping learners understand and address the impacts of global warming today, while at the same time encouraging the change in attitudes and behaviour needed to put our world on a more sustainable path in the future”. (UNESCO and Climate Exchange Education, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General, 2009).
Schools can play a central role in providing young people with information and knowledge to help them understand climate change as early as possible. This will help them deal not only with the immediate challenges, but also with the longer term ones. Schools can assist their students with making more conscious consumer choices in terms of developing new attitudes towards what is appropriate and what is not. Moreover, schools have a key role in supporting young people to make career choices, for some businesses will grow considerably while others will decline.
GREEEN seeks to promote the effective integration of climate change education (CCE) into educational programmes and school curricula (climate literacy), on the one hand, and to promote creativity in science education, making science education more tangible, innovative and attractive to the youngest generation through a centrally important issue.
The GREEEN network partners met for the first time in January 2014. The kick-off meeting aimed at getting to know to each other and at creating a common work basis. The network receives funding for three years. The ultimate aim is to establish a solid basis for a sustainable network that is open for new partners at European level. For this purpose, GREEEN intends to organise a number of events, among others training days, webinars, the GREEEN award, in order to make GREEEN visible at a European level, and to provide interesting products and services that attract new partners. One of the products will be a collection of good practices and teaching and learning strategies on climate change education.
As a starting point, partners in the kick-off meeting identified challenges they are confronted with in science education as well as possible improvements in order to create a basis, on which to start gathering existing practice and generating new approaches in CCE. The results of this discussion are visualised in the tagcloud:
It was agreed that it is often hard to motivate students in science education. An improvement was seen in making science education more practical and applicable to real life situations. Pratical inputs and real life topics that are of interest for the students seem a solution. Also an exchange with other schools, businesses and other fields was mentioned as a possible improvement. Learning outside the school as well as promoting self-directed learning were two methods that were considered as interesting ways to motivate students.
The two-day meeting was far too short to go into depth with the topic. Thus the group split into three work groups that will work on the following topics:
- Integrating climate change contents and examples (internal)
- Integrating external practice and expertise/presenting innovative methods and tools
The first results are expected in March.
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