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Integrating Climate Education in your Curriculum

“A vibrant, fair, and regenerative future is possible — not when thousands of people do climate justice activism perfectly but when millions of people do the best they can.” ― Xiye Bastida, Climate Justice Activist

Are you looking for ways to meaningfully integrate climate change education into your classroom?
Are you looking for tools, resources, and confidence to bring climate change into the curriculum?

If either of these questions above rings true to you, you’re not alone! A 2022 study by the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) found that almost 80% of teachers, principals, and district leaders in an 800-person sample said U.S. schools should teach students the science behind climate. Three-fourths of the teachers surveyed thought it irresponsible not to address climate change in school since their students will inevitably face it. More than half said their students experience eco-anxiety or bring up the topic independently. With so many U.S. educators agreeing that climate change is worth or necessary to teach, why isn’t it in our schools?

The main reasons identified in this study are that teachers lacked the confidence to teach climate change, lacked quality resources to do so, or felt a lack of support from their school leaders and community. A 2021 UNESCO study reaching almost 60,000 teachers globally reinforced that “fewer than 40% of teachers surveyed are confident in teaching about the severity of climate change even though 95% of teachers believe that it is important or very important to teach.”

Compass Education wants to build the confidence of educators like you to integrate climate change education and, more broadly, education for sustainable development into your curriculum. More broadly, we want to support you in developing systems thinking competencies that will allow you to design engaging learning activities that stimulate collaboration, communication, critical analysis, and more essential 21st-century skills while exploring the vital issues of sustainability.

System thinking pedagogy is an integral tool for Climate Education. Before individuals can act for sustainable development, they need awareness of global realities and to connect with global issues on a personal level. Systems thinking’s fundamental focus on interdependence and interrelationships can be a powerful mechanism for developing learners’ passion and capabilities to leverage elements in their sphere of influence to create a more sustainable world.

Check out this resource pack that we put together to provide tools, lesson ideas, and a peek into our global community of educators working to build a more sustainable world in their classrooms and communities daily. This is not a curriculum packet you need to add to your curriculum, but hopefully, inspiration for how you can take what you’re doing and integrate climate change into your work.

Picture of Gitanjali Paul

Gitanjali Paul

Since joining Compass Education in 2014, Gitanjali has worked with the Youth and Learning Empowerment Groups to design and facilitate educational workshops, camps, and courses. As Education Program Manager, Gitanjali coordinates learning experiences, oversees new product development, and supports CE’s stellar network of educator volunteers in fulfilling organizational goals and mission. Gitanjali's experiences as a student and teacher in international schools have fortified her motivation to equip individuals with knowledge and skills to thrive in and create a more sustainable world. In addition to her work with Compass Education, Gitanjali freelances as a learning designer and facilitator for other organizations in whose work she believes. She is an avid lover of nature, cooking experiments, adventures with family, and spending time with her Filipina rescue cat, Mahatma Charlie.

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Compass Education is on a mission to share our tools with 1 million educators by 2030. Join our community of dedicated educators and follow our growth on social media!