Module 1: Climate change as a complex topic

Dealing with complexity

Teaching climate change presents complex challenges for education:

Climate change and its natural and anthropogenic factors have a multidisciplinary nature that can make it difficult for students, especially those without strong backgrounds in these areas, to understand.

Teachers have a very important role in simplifying this complex topic without losing the essence of the scientific concepts.

This can be done using visual aids and interactive models to explain concepts.

Activity: Watch the video “What is Climate Change: Exploring the Challenges”

Teachers could for example create a playlist of different videos that might address this issue, such as the following:
Causes and Effects of Climate Change | National Geographic
Climate Change – We are the PROBLEM & the SOLUTION (Animated Infographic)
Climate Change and Global Warming, EXPLAINED
Friendly Guide to Climate Change – and what you can do to help

Teachers can also use different visualisation tools using the NASA Visualisation Studio:,  while students can also use Google’s Earth Engine, which allows users to explore and visualise decades of satellite imagery.

Click image to enlarge


Source: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4626

<–  Introduction

 

Finding reliable information

The free tool ArcGIS Storymaps can be used to present the science of climate change using multimedia information, data and maps for learning and teaching.

Activity: Explore the causes, consequences, consensus and action in the “Hot Numbers” Storymap. Consider the ‘power’ of the information presented.
How valuable is this as a teaching / learning resource.
Where is the information derived from? Is it reliable?

There are many examples which illustrate different aspects of climate change, some are  explored in the next section.

A psychological challenge

Many people perceive climate change as a distant problem, affecting only certain regions or future generations. This can make it difficult for students to feel personally invested in learning about it or taking action.


Source: www.canva.com

It is important for teachers to make the impacts of climate change relatable by connecting them to local events or changes in students’ own environments. Teachers can incorporate project-based learning where students can see the direct impacts of climate change in their community and understand how they are directly affected by climate change.

Teaching tools.  –>