Combating climate change in classrooms

There is an urgent need to pay attention to the challenges brought about by the lack of education and awareness on climate change as this global problem threatens our health by affecting our water, food, air, weather, and even the education we receive.

Everyone of us is empowered by education but young people are especially inspired to act. Climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of billions of people, making it one of the most pressing problems of our time. Natural disasters, environmental deterioration, and unusual weather can lead to disease outbreaks and the disruption of crops, fisheries, and livelihoods.Generally, people who receive an education are more

likely to adopt new attitudes and behaviours, as well as make more informed decisions on climate change issues.

Students can learn about the effects of global warming and how to adapt to climate change in class but fragmented themes in the various subjects taught, inadequate instructional material and training of teachers to handle topics relevant to this global catastrophe, and over-reliance on the lecture method of teaching, are among the challenges we face in raising awareness and educating our youths on climate change.

Creative education

Promoting climate action requires creative education. It helps individuals understand and address the effects of climate change by equipping them with the information, know-how, values, and attitudes necessary to engage as change agents.

Knowing the truth helps dispel apprehension surrounding a topic that is typically portrayed in the media as being all doom and gloom.

To convey what it means to be a child growing up in the age of fast climate change, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has put in a lot of effort to engage the minds and imagination of kids globally and to emphasise the importance of education and training in addressing climate change.

The significance of educating youngsters about environmental issues and creating a climate-friendly culture has been emphasised by experts.

A study by the University of Stanford examined how this subject had helped 83% of nursery to secondary school students change their environmental behaviour.

Various climate change-related activities can be carried out in schools in addition to making it a required subject, but Italy is the only European nation to have done this.

Environmental-related outdoor activities like cleanup projects, field trips to farms and nurseries to observe how to care for plants and animals, and recycling classes and workshops are just some examples of this.

Educaclima, a portal which provides instructors with free instructional classroom material on environmental issues such as climate change, responsible consumption, energy use, and mobility, is an excellent resource.

Professional accreditation

The professional competence profiles on environmental elements for the Washington Accord, Sydney Accord, and Dublin Accord are stated generically and are applicable to all engineering, technology, and technician disciplines.

The application of an environmental competence profile may require amplification in different regulatory, disciplinary, occupational, or environmental contexts.

The attributes of these accords are defined as a knowledge profile, an indicated volume of learning and the attributes against which graduates must be able perform.

As the requirements are stated without reference to programme designs, providers are free to come up with environmental-based courses with different detailed structures, learning pathways and modes of delivery. Evaluation of these individual programmes is the concern of national accreditation systems.

The significance and effects of climate change education on engineering and social change should be included in the teaching syllabus so that graduates understand the impact of engineering technology solutions of broadly defined engineering problems in societal and environmental contexts and demonstrate knowledge of and need for sustainable development.

Competent graduates will have the attributes required to perform environmental based activities within the profession in accordance to the standards expected in independent employment or practice.

Through the process of environmental and climate change education, youths can learn about environmental problems, solve them, and take steps to protect the environment.

When people have a deeper grasp of environmental issues, they are more equipped to make wiser choices.

Dr Leong Wai Yie is professor at INTI International University, as well as a fellow and council member at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), United Kingdom. An advocate for women in leadership, she has been recognised both locally and internationally for her contributions to the field of education. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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INTI , climate change , green , UNFCCC , Educaclima


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