Category Archives: teaching

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“Teaching the Future” Marks a Successful Conclusion for Implementing Climate Change Education in Schools

report-imageAfter two transformative years, the ambitious “Teaching the Future” project is drawing to a close, leaving behind an indelible mark on climate change education. Launched with the vision to integrate climate education into school curricula, this project has far exceeded its initial goals, fundamentally reshaping how climate change is taught in classrooms. Explore the pedagogical report on climate education

At the heart of its success are the innovative resources and methodologies developed for educators and providing access to authentic climate data in dashboards of histoical temperature and precipitation and future forecasts of the predicted temperatures across the globe. These resources demonstrate the warming climate. Visit the digital climate data dashboards

dashboard global predicted temperatureRecognizing the multidisciplinary nature of climate change, “Teach the Future” has crafted a diverse array of teaching materials. These range from interactive games that engage students in environmental stewardship, to comprehensive lesson plans that weave climate awareness into subjects like science, geography, and even literature.  Find out more about the project results

Understanding that change begins with educators, the project has placed significant emphasis on teacher training to effectively communicate the complexities of climate change. Visit the onlione teacher training course

The project’s legacy includes a network of informed and enthusiastic educators, ready to inspire a new generation of environmentally conscious students. training modules image

Looking ahead, the success of “Teach the Future” serves as a blueprint for future educational initiatives.

Since the focus of the project is equipping educators and students with new skills, it is demonstrated that with the right tools and commitment, schools can play a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable future. Visit the teacher stories from the project

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Teachers meet to pilot Teaching the Future course on climate education

The Teaching the Future project organised a teacher training workshop for partners in Athens at project partner Doukas School. The purpose was to meet with teachers in order to trial and pilot the open access online course on climate education created by the project.teachers photo

The course consists of four training modules:
– Climate – addressing the Challenge
– Methodologies for Powerful Learning
– Encouraging students’ engagement to local issues
– Data, tools and resources

The first module explored during the training was Data, tools and resources module. It is devoted to accessing and using a digital data dashboard through a GeoInquiry activity.

Other tools and resources that bring scientific information into the classroom are also introduced.dashboard minumum temperatures Europe

The purpose of the Data, tools and resources module is to encourage pupils to access and use climate data to investigate the data collected by climate scientists. It encourages research of the climatic conditions in local areas by presenting global and European climate data visualised the form of a data dashboard.

The dashboards visualise historical data sets of temperature and precipitation. This is done by aggregating thirty years of data to establish mean conditions.  It shows clearly temperatures have been warming, but the effect varies in different locations.

The dashboard allows users to select data elements, zoom in to different locations anddashboard global predicted temperature present information at local regional, national and global scales.

It computes average temperatures and precipitation rates for the locations on the maps.

One dashboard also offers predictions of future temperature patterns across the world until 2100.

Access the data dashboards.

Visit the training module on Data, tools and resources .

 

 

 

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Bringing resources, tools and training for climate education

report imageThe Teaching the Future project is set in the context of the EU Green Deal and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Teaching The Future is based on the need to tackle the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

Curriculum opportunities and relevant teaching approaches have been evaluated through a research report. Pedagogies for active citizenship are encouraged including dealing with climate data and citizen science approaches that can be used in response to local issues. Download the report

Teaching The Future establishes access to tools and resources that makes scientific data-based resources on climate change education available for schools.

dashboard minumum temperatures EuropeTeaching the Future provides access to climate information through data dashboards and a resource toolkit. This provides access to reliable climate change data for use in schools by teachers of different subjects.

The project offers open access online teacher training for teachers to help young people to be informed and empowered to address the urgency of their future, understanding the background and science behind climate change.

The project has developed an online training course for teachers giving access to scientific data and reducing the likelihood of misinformation.training modules image

The training course encourages teachers to create opportunities for the critical assessment of information reliability and establish and use innovative approaches to teaching and learning about climate in curriculum areas.

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Climate data dashboard and resources update

dashboard imageBased on feedback received from the education Community and our review of climate education research, we have made substantial additions and improvements to the Teaching the Future climate data dashboards created as part of the Teaching the Future Erasmus Plus project – available at: https://teachingthefuture.eu/climate-dashboards/

The data sets now include European data from Copernicus, providing climate data at a much higher resolution than the global IPCC data.

The dashboards now provide data on both temperature and precipitation information – you only need to zoom in to Europe for the data to show.

We created a gallery of teacher-verified education resources for you to explore and use (https://www.eurogeography.eu/projects/geodem/gallery-of-resources-2/).dashboard minumum temperatures Europe

The resources include data and visualisations, multimedia tools and resources and climate education projects.

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Coping with the Scorching Heatwave: How Communities Are Adapting

As the planet grapples with the escalating effects of climate change, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense. Heatwaves, in particular, are posing a significant threat to human health, the environment, and daily life. These events have resulted in death tolls, with last summer’s heatwave killing more than 61,000 people across Europe. Heat-related illnesses, particularly among vulnerable populations, are escalating concerns. temperature map

Governments and communities worldwide are mobilising to combat the heatwave menace. Europe, in particular, is taking proactive measures. The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidance to support national and local authorities in preparing for extreme heat events. Various cities have implemented heat action plans, established cooling centres, and educated residents on the risks associated with heatwaves.

Spain and Greece have enforced bans on outdoor work during the hottest hours of the day, responding to previous fatalities caused by heat-related illnesses. France’s heat watch warning system, launched after a deadly heatwave in 2003, sets an example for public announcements urging people to stay hydrated during such events. Germany has followed France’s lead and launched a campaign to address heatwave deaths.

Innovative initiatives are emerging to tackle the extreme heat, especially in urban areas where heat island effects are most significant.

Barcelona, Spain, proposes painting rooftops white to reflect the sun’s rays. Meanwhile, London’s historic buildings are showing signs of damage due to prolonged drought and heat, calling for modernisation that considers extreme temperatures.

At the individual level, people are adopting lifestyle changes to minimise heatwave impact, such as staying hydrated, avoiding outdoor activities during peak heat hours, and using energy-efficient appliances.

heat island imageCommunities are embracing tree planting and green space creation to combat the urban heat island effect and provide much-needed shade and cooling. Additionally, the advocacy for clean energy sources and stringent climate policies is gaining momentum to address the long-term effects of heatwaves.

Despite the ongoing threat, the collective efforts of society offer hope for a more resilient and sustainable future. With continued proactive measures and heightened environmental consciousness, individuals and communities strive to adapt and thrive in the face of heatwaves, forging a path towards a cooler, healthier planet.

The Teaching the Future project team believes school education is essential in dealing with these issues. It has published a report that reviewed and analysed education initiatives to improve teaching about climate change and its impacts and will create a training course for teachers to introduce data-driven science into the classroom.

Download the full report

Climate games and simulations for education

The Teaching the Future project has identified different interesting visualisations that help present climate change issues and a created a gallery of innovative games and simulations related to climate change and teaching the future. games image

Recent research by Imperial College, London has shown that young people aged 16-24 are most likely to be particularly concerned about the impacts of climate change. This is partly because climate information is often hard to understand and follow, especially when suggested actions require changes in lifestyle.

study on climate change anxiety published in the Lancet found that children and young people demonstrated climate anxiety and widespread dissatisfaction with government responses in countries across the world. This is partly because because the climate crisis is so complex and lacks a clear solution. Education clearly has a role to play in dealing with this.

Games on the subject of climate change are well-suited to address the challenge of dealing with the complex issues involved, engaging people in the challenges involved.

Games can help communicate climate change in a manner that spurs involvement and motivates participants to take action. This is partly because many innovative design features of games can be integrated to blur the boundaries between reality and the virtual world.

The integration of game thinking and game mechanics in education has been described as gamification. One of the central advantages of gamification is the enjoyment created by making tasks more engaging, fun and interesting to complete. In turn, that increases people’s motivation to complete them.

Research carried out by Yee (2016) identified six different game elements that motivate gamers and encourage participation.

Action (e.g., objectives)
Social (e.g., competition)
Mastery (e.g., scoring)
Achievement (e.g., awards, rewards)
Immersion (e.g., role playing) and
Creativity (e.g., customisation)

It is important to realise therefore that games and game-based learning are valuable approaches to teaching the complexity of addressing climate change and part of the toolbox that educators can use to engage young people.

Visit the TTF gallery to try out the innovative simulations and games.

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IPCC Climate report focuses on science for citizens

The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report from the climate scientists has given a ‘final warning’ to policy makers on the crucial need for action on climate change. It clearly says we must fast-track climate efforts across every country.UN image

The report states that “attention to equity and broad and meaningful participation” can build “social trust” and so “deepen and widen support for transformative changes.”. The  radical social changes encouraged by this report won’t happen without the consent and participation of citizens around the world.

For many years, this critical part of the climate change response has been ignored. Socially marginalised and economically vulnerable citizens, and those who are more impacted by changing temperatures, remain excluded from the conversation.

According to Climate Home News, Governments have a duty – embedded in article 6 of the Paris Agreementto educate their citizens on climate change, involve them in policymaking and ensure they have all the necessary information.

The UNFCCC’s Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) is made up of six elements: education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and international cooperation. ACE image

These six principles are all core to public engagement, and most importantly to holding governments accountable.

Scientists providing even more frightening information about future impacts of climate change can be overwhelming and not helpful.

Positive campaigns are needed, involving education, that give people the feeling that it is possible to do something about climate change, they can be involved and that that something has the potential to make a difference.

The IPCC report highlights bringing people together to take action on climate change requires a bottom up,  participatory approach engaging and involving people. Climate education is one clear step we can and should take to inform and advise Governments and citizens to do more.

Find out more about Action for Climate Empowerment

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Where do teachers find the resources for teaching Climate change?

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and teachers play a crucial role in educating the next generation about it. However, with the vast amount of information available online, it can be challenging for teachers to find reliable and accurate sources of information on climate change.

misinformation imageResearch undertaken in preparation for the Teaching the Future project showed that most teachers rely on television reports and social media to get information on climate change, however unbiased reporting is not very common on many new channels and there have been many disinformation and misinformation campaigns spread on social media. FInd out more about these issues.

To address this issue, many teachers turn to trusted sources such as government agencies, scientific organisations, and educational institutions. For example, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a website called Climate.gov that provides a wealth of information on climate science, including articles, data, and multimedia resources. Teachers can use this website to access reliable and up-to-date information on climate change to incorporate into their lessons. The European Commission has an EU Science Hub on climate change.

march pictureThe Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition aiming to fight dangerous climate change. It has more than 170 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing in excess of 1.500 NGOs and more than 47million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

The European Climate Foundation (ECF) is a major philanthropic initiative working to help tackle the climate crisis by fostering the development of a net-zero emission society at the national, European, and global level. The ECF supports over 700 partner organisations to carry out activities that drive urgent and ambitious policy in support of the objectives of the Paris Agreement, contribute to the public debate on climate action, and help deliver a socially responsible transition to a net-zero economy and sustainable society in Europe and around the world.

IPCC logoAnother source of information is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is an organisation that brings together scientists and policymakers from around the world to assess the state of knowledge on climate change. The IPCC produces reports that summarise the latest research on climate change and its impacts, which teachers can use to stay informed and incorporate into their curriculum.

clinate reality project imageEducational institutions such as universities and research centres are also valuable sources of information for teachers. They often have specialised departments or programs dedicated to climate science that provide access to cutting-edge research and resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.

In addition to these sources, there are also numerous non-profit organisations that focus on climate education, such as the Climate Reality Project and Action for Climate Emergency. These organisations offer a range of resources, including lesson plans, webinars, and professional development opportunities, to help teachers incorporate climate education into their curriculum.

By staying informed and up-to-date on the latest research and information, teachers can help their students understand the science behind climate change and the importance of taking action to address it.

Find out more about education and climate change from the Teaching the Future Report

 

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Celebrating World Open Data Day

Open Data Day (ODD) was celebrated by the Open Data Charter this year on March 23rdODD logo 2023 . Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world, where groups and communities gather to reach out to new people and build new solutions using open data.

Creating awareness around open data and its benefits aims to encourage governments, businesses, and civil society initiatives worldwide to adopt open data policies and inspire others to do the same.

Since 2015, the Open Knowledge Foundation – in cooperation with other NGOs from the open data world – has offered mini-grants to support the facilitation of events around the globe. This year’s Open Data Day gave out mini-grants for communities that work on: environmental data, tracking public money flows, open mapping, data for equal development, and ocean data for a thriving planet.

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ODD is a chance for people around the world to support and encourage the adoption of open data policies by local, regional and central governments.

The Open Data Charter is a collaboration between over 170 governments and other organisations working to open up data based on a shared set of principles. EUROGEO has been a signatory of the Charter since 2019. It promotes policies and practices that enable governments and CSOs to collect, share, and use well-governed data, to respond effectively and accountably to the following focus areas: anti-corruption, climate action and pay equity.

The Teaching the Future project was presented by the project coordinator Karl Donert at the Open Data Charter series of events. EUROGEO has been involved in promoting access to open data through its projects and publications. The Teaching the Future data dashboard takes open climate data and makes it accessible to teachers and learners. Try out our open data climate dashboard.

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Testing the TTF Climate Data Dashboard

data dashboard imageTeaching the Future is an initiative to address the need for reliable authoritative climate-related data for students and teachers.

The Teaching the Future project has reviewed teacher needs, discussed the data issues with climate experts, teacher educators and climate scientists and invited responses from the wider educational community through involvement in the European Commission Education for Climate  initiative.

Data dashboards manage information to visually track, assess and displays a range of indicators, metrics and key data points to monitor the situation of a specific process.

Pilot testing of v1 of the Teaching the Future climate data dashboard is under way

dashboard imageA number of errors have been identified and bug fixes have been applied.

We have launched a second version of the data dashboard which is ready for testing – now there are 2 separate data dashboards
D1 – historical climate change data
D2 – predictions of future climate

Please support the project by helping us test the dashboard

You can access the latest version (v2) of the dashboard from
https://teachingthefuture.eu/climate-dashboards/

Download the guide/manual for data and dashboard functions

dashboard image -future climateOnce you have explored the data, we kindly ask you (including teachers and their students) to complete the short usability survey to help the dashboard development.

Did you find it easy to access?
Was the data easy to navigate? 
What features did you like?
What was most challenging?

Here are some activities you could try out

Historical data
Zoom in to your area/city/region country
Notice how the dashboard information changes
Now find a place nearer the pole – has it changed more or less?
What about the equator or Sahara desert?
What about mountain areas like the Alps? Or Seas like the Mediterranean?
Note you can expand each box and even download the data you selected and export it into Excel for further analysis

Prediction data
These are modelled data for the future based on low, medium or high greenhouse gas emissions
This is explained at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_Concentration_Pathway
Again the likely impact of climate change in the future can be explored using the maps and data

These modelled predictions are the basis of much of our policy developments – the class could discuss the challenges of decision making with future uncertainty

Hoping you find it interesting