Category Archives: teaching

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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

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Earth Map shows climate data

Earth map graphicEarth Map (https://earthmap.org/) is an innovative and free application developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. It was designed in the framework of the partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and Google. Earth map facilitates the visualisation, processing, and analysis of land and climate data.

Earth Map allows everyone to visualise, process and analyse satellite imagery and global datasets on climate, vegetation, fires, biodiversity, geo-social and other topics.

It was created to support countries, research institutes and even farmers with internet access to monitor their land in an easy, integrated and multi-temporal manner. It is an interesting tool which can be used to help with teaching about climate and climate change.

Users need no prior knowledge of remote sensing or Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Look at the video embedded here to find out more.

Earth Map’s data is divided into different thematic segments, including Climate, Geosocial, Vegetation, Land Degradation Neutrality, Water, Satellite images, Land maps, Forestry, Fire, Geophysical, Soil and Biodiversity.

The data allows users to visualise different layers of information to create maps and to generate statistics to describe the areas of interest.

These layers include data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, the Copernicus ECMWF Temperature and Precipitation ERA5 data and Global Forest Change tree cover loss.

Earth Map allows users to access and display information from different time periods. It  thereby gives  both a temporal (accessing time series data) and a spatial (visualising places) perspective to their areas of interest.

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Find out moreVisit Earth Map

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Changes in Global Ocean Circulation

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a large system of ocean currents that carry warm water from the tropics northwards into the North Atlantic.ocean circulation image

It acts like a conveyor belt, driven by differences in temperature and salt content – the water’s density. As warm water flows northwards it cools and some evaporation occurs, which increases the amount of salt. Low temperature and a high salt content make the water denser, and this dense water sinks deep into the ocean.

The cold, dense water slowly spreads southwards, several kilometres below the surface. Eventually, it gets pulled back to the surface and warms in a process called “upwelling” and the circulation is complete.

This global process makes sure that the world’s oceans are continually being mixed, and that heat and energy are distributed around the earth. This, in turn, contributes to the climate we experience today.

Oceanographers have been continuously measuring the AMOC since 2004. These measurements have shown that the AMOC varies from year to year, and it is likely that these variations have an impact on the weather in western Europe. However it is too early to say for sure whether there are any long term trends.

Before 2004 the AMOC was only measured a few times, and to go back further into the past we need to look at indirect evidence (for example from sediments on the sea floor). The indirect evidence doesn’t always agree on the details, but it seems likely that there have been some large, rapid changes in the AMOC in the past (for example around the end of the last ice age).

Some scientists believe the changes to this ocean circulation poses a huge risk for Europe.  The devastating droughts last summer were caused by the AMOC being at its lowest point in 1200 years, and now they say it is the weakest it has been in the last 1600 years. Watch the video which explains findings from recent research.

An example of their potential impact

However, according to the UK Met Office, climate models suggest that the AMOC will weaken over the 21st Century as greenhouse gases increase. This is because as the atmosphere warms, the surface ocean beneath it retains more of its heat. Meanwhile increases in rainfall and ice melt mean it gets fresher too. All these changes make the ocean water lighter and so reduce the sinking in the ‘conveyor belt’, leading to a weaker AMOC. So the AMOC is very likely to weaken, but it’s considered very unlikely that large, rapid changes in the AMOC, as seen in past times, will happen in the 21st Century.

Educators need to be careful not to exaggerate the impact of such processes as teachers should try to keep to the facts and data, as AMOC has only been measured regularly since 2004 – we simply do not know, nor can we yet predict with any accuracy, what the future will bring. But it is an important issue that we ought to teach about and its impact on the development of previous ice ages for example as polar ice melted.

Find out more about the AMOC

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Second partner meeting in Serbia

On Friday, September 16, International School hosted experts, teachers and representatives of different partner organisations with the aim of making another step towards the establishment of effective and comprehensive climate change education.

This meeting was held in Belgrade, as part of the Teaching the Future project, which aims to implement education about climate change and the environment in teaching and learning programmes in all partner countries participating in this project – Belgium, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Greece and Cyprus. project-meeting belgrade

During the meeting, the results of the research conducted were presented and clear recommendations for the implementation of climate change education were established, taking into account the development of students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the development of teachers’ competencies. In addition, current initiatives to reduce the consequences of climate change and protect the environment were also presented.

At the end of September 2022, a comprehensive report on current climate change education practices was published. Download the report

The Report: Teaching the future – climate, citizenship and digital teaching – curriculum and pedagogical guidelines included an extensive literature review of different methodologies in climate change education as well as research findings conducted by project partners in their own countries. Through this research and focus group discussions, the report offers comprehensive recommendations and pedagogical guidelines for educators, organisations and governments from around the world. data dashboard image

We are convinced that only through quality education, which is focused on the scientific study of today’s world, for the sake of a better future, can we nurture students to become citizens of the world.

The next phase of the project will be to create, pilot and evaluate a digital data dashboard aggregating climate information, data and resources which will be easily accessible for schools and teachers.

Webinar: the Universalisation of Climate Education

A webinar hosted by UNESCO was held on 10th October I 15:00-16:30 CEST to look at the importance of quality climate education.

In this webinar, participants heard from leading organisations and departments in the field of climate change education, including UN agencies, ministries, and global NGOs. You will learn about the many efforts already being taken to secure universal climate education – and the obstacles we still need to overcome.

Speakers

Pramod Kumar Sharma – Senior Director of Education, Foundation for Environmental Education
Deirdre Hodson – Policy Officer, School Education Policy, European Commission
Won Jung Byon – Programme Specialist, Section of Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO
Ewurasi Nnadozie – Head of International, Comms and Events, Sustainability and Climate Change Unit, UK Department of Education
Fleur Newman – Unit Lead, Action for Climate Empowerment, UNFCCC
Kathleen Rogers – President, Earthday.org

 

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Visualising The Earth’s Ice Loss

Visualising Earth’s Global Ice Loss Between 1994-2017

Visualising the amount of ice that is being lost from the Earth is very difficult to consider. Especially when it is estimated that nearly 70% of the Earth’s freshwater is locked up in glaciers and ice caps, ground ice, and permafrost. This ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.

This news item looks at different forms of visualisation to help improve our understanding of the significance of these changes.ice loss graph

Based on data from a new scientific survey (slater et al., 2021), this visualisation shows that 28 trillion tonnes of Earth’s ice has been lost between 1994 and 2017.

Over half (58%) of the ice loss occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, from Arctic sea ice and also grounded ice previously trapped in the Greenland ice sheet.

While rising temperatures lies behind most of this historical global ice loss, it’s worth being aware that lower levels of ice results in a positive feedback loop. Less ice means less of the sun’s heat is reflected away from the Earth, instead being absorbed back and further amplifying the global warming effect.

How does a glacier melt?

Change in the Arctic (European Space Agency

Global Ice Loss Visualised Over Paris -a visualisation of one year’s global ice loss 

Reference: Slater, T., Lawrence, I.R., Otosaka, I.N., Shepherd, A., Gourmelen, N., Jakob, L., Tepes, P., Gilbert, L. and Nienow, P., 2021. Earth’s ice imbalance. The Cryosphere15(1), 233-246. https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/15/233/2021/

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One step closer to comprehensive climate change education

On Friday, September 16, the International School hosted experts, teachers and representatives of renowned organisations with the aim of approaching another step towards the establishment of effective and comprehensive climate change education.belgrade meeting

The meeting was held in Belgrade, as part of the project Teaching the Future, which aims to implement education about climate change and the environment in traditional teaching and learning programs in all partner countries participating in this project – Belgium, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Greece and Cyprus.

During the meeting, we presented the results of the conducted research and established clear steps for further implementation of climate change education, taking into account the development of students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the development of teachers’ competencies. In addition to the aforementioned advancements to the project tasks, current initiatives to reduce the consequences of climate change and to protect the environment were also presented.

The partners are convinced that only through quality education, which is focused on the scientific study of today’s world, for the sake of a better future, can we nurture students to become the citizens of the world.

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Green Flag for one of our school partners!

One of the Teaching the Future project partners, Doukas School, and more specifically its primary school, received once more, this year the Green Flag from the Hellenic Society for the Protection of NatureDoukas school image

 

The objective of this Programme is to change the behaviour of everyone within the school community so that the school will become a real “Eco School”.

This is achieved through the formulation and implementation of:

an “Eco-code” (a set of environmental behaviour standards), and the implementation of
an Environmental Action Plan (which involves all the surrounding area of the school and its conversion into a clean, attractive, and friendly space).

In every school, students and teachers establish an Environmental Committee, which addresses issues of energy, waste, and water. (later on, they can deal with other subjects such as transport, healthy living, biodiversity, consumerism, etc.).

At the same time, the Committee oversees the implementation of the “Action Plan” and the “Ecocode” with the participation of the whole school community. Finally, in order to achieve links with the local community and ensure the raising of public awareness, the school organises activities and events in cooperation with the local government and authorities.

Educational material is provided for all subjects dealt with by the Network.doukas pupils-3

Doukas Primary School was evaluated positively for the set of actions and the Eco-code that was implemented. Among others, it was awarded for the Actions “I learn about forests” (2nd grade) and “Recycle-Reuse” (3rd and 4th grade).

Doukas School contributes to all aspects of the Teaching the Future project and will develop internal and external evaluation of the results of the project:

– a report on Teaching the Future
– a digital data dashboard for accessing climate data / information
– a teacher training course

Find out more