We support Teach the Future's petition for better climate emergency education. Here's why you should join us.
The UK parliament has declared it an emergency. Thousands of scientists have warned of the scale of the crisis. The UN Secretary-General has called it an existential threat, and according to Gen Z, it's the most important issue in the world today. Yes, we're talking about climate change and biodiversity loss. And yet, when it comes to the UK curriculum, this subject gets buried deeper than a giant isopod.
Research from Oxfam has shown that over two-thirds of teachers polled in the UK believe there should be more teaching about the climate in schools. Plus, 75 percent of teachers said they don't feel they've received adequate training to educate students about climate change. We've got an elephant in the classroom.
Climate change and biodiversity loss will affect every aspect of our lives, so it's about time that our education system addressed this. It's not hard to imagine how, either. For example, economics classes provide a chance to learn about the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet; media studies could explore greenwashing campaigns; the psychology curriculum could cover eco-anxiety and solastalgia (unease that our environment is changing for the worse). Instead, we've relegated the most pressing issue of our day has to a few short topics in science and geography.
Last month, the United Nations Development Programme released the People's Climate Vote. The vote is a report on the biggest ever global survey on climate change and public opinion (spanning 50 countries). According to Cassie Flynn, Strategic Advisor to the UNDP, one of the most striking findings is the relationship between education and understanding. She says:
'...there is a high correlation between a level of education and belief in the climate emergency. The more educated you are, the more likely you believe that there is a climate emergency. And this is really, really powerful, because it doesn't matter where you're from, it doesn't matter your age - education really, really is important."
For these reasons, we support Teach the Future's petition asking the government to implement broader climate education. If, like us, you believe that the UK should offer students better climate education, then please add your name too! It'll only take a few seconds, and you could have an impact for generations.
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