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Let's talk about it: exploring climate change with your students

Action Begets Hope: How to Engage Your Students in Climate Solutions SymposiumSocial StudiesScience
1 Hour Session
10:45 AM, Thursday 13 Feb 2020 (1 hour)
Location : TELUS Convention Centre - Macleod E4

Climate change is part of the Alberta curriculum and is one of the most pressing issues we face. Yet, many teachers are reluctant to ‘go there’ with their students - citing a lack of support from colleagues, administrators or parents, the challenge of deciphering fact from misinformation, and most importantly, concern over adding more angst to students who may already be anxious or even depressed about their future.

Research shows, however, that engaging with this challenging topic - rather than avoiding it - is the best way to 3 replace fear with curiosity and instill hope and positive attitudes in our students. Whether you teach elementary or secondary, understanding what climate change means for you and your students provides a rich, real, and engaging opportunity to practice critical thinking skills through an exploration of the scientific and social dimensions of this important and timely topic.

In this interactive session, we’ll share the latest findings of the Alberta Narratives Project and preliminary insights from the follow-up Youth Narratives Project and a provincial youth poll - all of which shed light on students’ attitudes toward climate change with how best to broach this complex topic with them. We will also model and practice specific techniques that can be used with students of all ages to advance literacy around climate change while delivering on your curriculum.

Action Begets Hope: How to Engage Your Students in Climate Solutions Symposium

Climate change is widely viewed as the most serious and pressing issue of our time, not only radically altering our environment but posing an unprecedented threat to humanity itself. Calgarians are feeling first-hand the effects of climate change as floods, extreme weather events, and smoke from wildfires become part of our new reality. In recognition of the seriousness and urgency of climate change, the City of Calgary’s city council unanimously adopted, in 2018, the Calgary Climate Resilience Strategy - a blueprint for reducing city-wide greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to changing conditions created by climate change. But what does this all mean for teachers and students?

Join us for all or part of this all-day symposium as we explore what climate change means for Calgarians and especially, how you can unpack this complex issue with your students while delivering on your curriculum. In particular, we’ll equip you with information, techniques, and resources to confidently explore climate change with your students in a way that is evidence-based and invites open dialogue and critical thinking. We will also unveil Climate Schools for Climate Action - an exciting new opportunity for the school community to engage in student-led climate actions that support the Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy. You are welcome to join one, several, or all of the four exciting sessions we have lined up for the day. No advance registration required - seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

This symposium is specifically designed to help you:

● Better understand the science of climate change specifically within the Calgary context

● Understand what the City of Calgary is doing to address this challenge, and how teachers and students can be part of the solution;

● Learn how to talk about climate change with your students in a depolarizing way;

● Develop strategies for engaging students in climate education and action in a way that links to the curriculum and is age-appropriate;

● Learn about programs, materials, and resources to support climate education and action for all ages.

Climate Outreach
Canadian Associate
Alberta Council for Environmental Education
Senior Education Advisor