Expansion of Climate Change Course for K-12 Educators
Positive teacher feedback has spurred the expansion of a program for K-12 educators that empowers them with the competencies and confidence to teach about climate change.
AUG. 9, 2021 – San Francisco – Presidio Graduate School, the first and only graduate school dedicated to sustainability and social justice, today announced that its Teaching Climate Change Essentials course for K-12 educators will be offered on an ongoing basis throughout the 2021-22 academic year.
“The feedback from teachers who have taken the course has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Presidio Graduate School President Elizabeth Maw. “Teachers have told us that they feel more confident to teach about climate change, are likely to incorporate the topic into their lesson plans, and believe the knowledge they have gained will have a direct impact on student learning. The goal is to build on this success.”
The facilitated, online course includes nine weekly learning modules and three live webinars with subject matter experts. Throughout the course, teachers explore the fundamentals of climate science, the impacts of climate change, especially on marginalized communities, as well as paths to individual, local, national and global climate solutions. Teachers learn how to augment their existing curriculum by integrating climate change exercises and resources. The syllabus also has them compare and contrast how communities are solving for climate change and look at ways they and their students can take action.
“The focus on solutions is a distinguishing feature of the course,” says Alyson Mike, Director of Online Learning and K-12 Strategy and Development at Presidio. “Data shows many young people are overwhelmed by the issue of climate change and feel despondent. We include stories of successful solutions at the start of each module to instill a sense of hope throughout the course, so teachers can turn that around. We’re already seeing how the course is inspiring action and having an impact in classrooms.”
After discussing plastic reduction with her class, one elementary school teacher from San Rafael, California, found a way to obtain reusable water bottles for her students. Together, they are now looking at more ways to reduce plastic at the school and at home. Another sixth grade teacher from Billings, Montana taught her class about ways to reduce carbon emissions. The students decided to do a school-wide fundraiser and make a donation to an organization focused on planting trees as a solution. The project included the creation of posters to educate the rest of the school about climate change and why they were raising money.
“With this course, we set out to show educators how climate change education is relevant to all students, across all subject areas and grade levels, from kindergarten through high school, and from the science lab to the art classroom,” explains President Maw. “We’re delighted that course participants are taking what they have learned forward into the classroom, and that it’s inspiring action.”
Major funding for Climate Change Education for All is supported by the Enlight Foundation and The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation. Donations are also allowing Presidio to offer scholarships to those teachers who need financial assistance to be able to enroll.
To learn more about the Teaching Climate Change Essentials course for K-12 educators, apply for a scholarship to attend the program, or enroll in the course, visit https://k12.presidio.edu/climate/.
ABOUT PRESIDIO GRADUATE SCHOOL
Presidio Graduate School is the first and only independent graduate school dedicated entirely to educating those working for a more just and sustainable world. Our mission is to educate changemakers to build a flourishing future for all. With a forward-looking curriculum that integrates sustainability, equity, and social impact, Presidio equips students with the mindset and skills to create tangible, positive change and access to a growing global network of passionate sustainability professionals.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2003, Presidio Graduate School is headquartered in San Francisco and offers master’s degrees (MBA, MPA, and dual degrees) and certificate programs. Presidio Graduate School was ranked among the top five sustainable MBA programs in the nation by Fast Company and, according to The New York Times, is the place to go “if you want to change the world.” To learn more, visit Presidio.edu, read the Presidian Blog, join us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @Presidiograd.
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