Category Archives: teaching

Why is accessing data so important for climate education?

Climate data is a crucial resource we should use in education, its visualisation enhances understanding and engagement with complex environmental issues.dashboard image

Teaching the Future has provided access to authentic original climate data using global datasets from scientists and the latest European data from the Copernicus project.

There are several key aspects that teachers and educators should consider:
Enhanced Understanding: Climate data is often vast and complex, encompassing various parameters at different spatial scales. Visual representations, from data dashboards, offers graphs, charts, and maps, which help simplify this complexity, making patterns and trends more discernible. Students can quickly grasp the progression of climate change, which might be less apparent through raw data alone.
Engagement and Retention: Visual aids capture attention and make learning more interactive. Educational psychology suggests that visual learning can significantly enhance memory retention. When students see data in a visual format showing rising global temperatures, they are more likely to remember and understand these concepts. Data from climate models and simulations further increase engagement by allowing students to consider the future and potential outcomes.
Critical Thinking and Analysis: Visualising climate data encourages critical thinking. Students learn to interpret data, identify trends, and draw conclusions. Students can explore cause-and-effect relationships between human activities and climate change. This analytical skill helps in developing informed opinions and considering solutions.
Communication and Advocacy: Effective communication of climate science is essential for public awareness and policy advocacy. Visual data is a powerful communication tool that transcends language barriers and can be understood by a wide audience. Students experienced in visualising and interpreting climate data are better equipped to convey complex information succinctly and persuasively.
Real-World Applications: Incorporating climate data visualisation in education prepares students for real-world challenges. Many professions increasingly rely on data visualisation to inform decisions and strategies. By mastering these skills early, students can contribute meaningfully to addressing climate change in their future careers.

Visualising climate data is therefore fundamental to enhance comprehension, engagement, critical thought and communication skills. The data dashboards transform abstract data into meaningful insights, empowering students to understand and address the pressing issue of climate change.

Access the Climate Data Dashboards

A training module is available to help you and your students navigate the data.

European Green Competence Framework published

The development of a European sustainability competence framework GreenComp  is one of the key education policy actions set out in the European Green Deal. This seeks to act as a catalyst to promote learning on environmental sustainability in the European Union. greencomp image

GreenComp identifies a set of twelve sustainability competences to feed into education programmes to help learners develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote ways to think, plan and take action.

The GreenComp competences are organised into four inter-related ‘areas’, applicable to learners all ages, education levels and settings:
– embodying sustainability values,
– embracing complexity in sustainability,
– envisioning sustainable futures, and
– acting for sustainability.

Access here GreenComp in 24 EU official languages

GreenComp is a reference model for sustainability competences. It provides a common basis to learners and guidance to educators and institutions. It can be used by everyone involved in lifelong learning to design learning opportunities aimed at developing sustainability competences.

GreenComp fosters a sustainability mindset by helping users develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to think, plan and act with empathy, responsibility and care for our planet.

Access the article: From sustainability competences (GreenComp) to sustainable behaviour 

GreenComp can be readily applied to the Teaching the Future approach to climate change education.

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European Climate Pact Toolkit Available

Teaching the Future has engaged with the European Commission in its Education for Climate initiative. This brings together teachers, educators, experts and policy makers to share and develop relevant approaches to climate education. More than 800 people are engaged in this community initiative. All are welcome to join.  Find out more about Education for Climate

Education 4 climate imageThe Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) leads the European Commission’s efforts to fight climate change at EU and international level. Its key mission is to formulate and implement EU climate policies and strategies, so that the EU can turn into the first climate-neutral and climate resilient continent by 2050.  Latest news from DG CLIMA

The EC has also established a European Climate Pact. The Pact is designed as a movement of people united around a common cause, each taking steps in their own worlds to build a more sustainable Europe. The Pact is part of the European Green Deal and is helping the EU to meet its goal to become climate-neutral by 2050.

The Pact encourages everyone to find their place, allowing people to get involved whether they are just starting out on your climate action journey or already working to make a difference in their own community. It is possible to take part either as an individual or as an organisation – for example, a city, a community or an association.

The 2024 European Climate Pact event gathered more than 200 members of the Climate Pact community from across Europe to work together on new ways to spark climate action in their local communities.

The Climate Pact has developed to resources to help you convince someone to take action on climate change, as  bold systemic changes are needed, and everyone needs to be involved.

As some people are more reluctant than others, a toolkit has been created to help you explain and communicate climate action to your community.

Six common arguments people use to justify their inaction are presented, along with suggestions on how you can respond to each of them.

Some tips on how to talk about climate change are also provided. Find out more

The Teaching the Future project involves not only relating to the science and the climate data but also encouraging ways to take action in reducing our impact on the planet.  The open access teacher training course allows you explore tools and resources related to climate action.

Module 1 of the teacher training course looks at how to address the Climate Challenge
Module 3 explores how to encourage student engagement in local issues.

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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.

UPDATE: A training module is now available with a GeoInquiry to help you navigate the data successfully.

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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