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GALVANISE: Report pushes need for teaching of climate science in schools

GALVANISE: Report pushes need for teaching of climate science in schools

Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency in 2019

Children in schools need to be taught about climate change in a way that will “galvanise” them into making a difference, a document has claimed.

It added that schools in Leeds could be expected to write their own documents on the importance of combating climate change, and look at altering their curriculum to better include climate science in existing subjects.

Leeds City Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, and has since declared its ambition to be a net carbon-zero economy by 2030.

A new document, entitled the Climate Action Route Map, lists 10 ways that children can be better taught the importance of these issues.

It reads: “The debate over the causes of climate change has a long and turbulent history which continues to this day.

“Overwhelmingly, however, the scientific community acknowledges the impact of human activity on the environment and evidence is clear that, unless the world takes urgent action to limit carbon emissions within this decade, average global temperatures will rise above 1.5ºC with catastrophic consequences.

“Increasingly professionals report a surge in ‘eco-anxiety’; a concern or worry about ecological disasters and the advertised risk to the natural environment.

“Arguably, this puts even greater emphasis on clarifying a school/settings’ position alongside an awareness of the impact of the language used when communicating with pupils.

“Key vocabulary needs to be communicated in a positive way empowering pupils to take action and seeking to galvanise their passion rather than leaving them feeling powerless, uninvolved and potentially even more anxious, a solutions focussed approach.”

According to the paper, set to go before councillors next week, each school should have an “action plan” to prioritise what it needs to help pupils apply their learning of climate science to real world situations.

It added that each school could have a published “climate education position statement”, which would establish what the climate emergency would mean for their school.

The document also lists a curriculum review to take place in schools, and the need to look at how to incorporate climate education in regular lessons.

The paper will be discussed at a meeting of Leeds City Council’s Climate Emergency Advisory Committee on Monday, November 1.

While it is not yet expected to become official council policy any time soon, members are recommended to comment on the report and accompanying presentation.


Words: Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporter

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