Doing the rounds on social media this week is the #Teach4Climate campaign:

The #Teach4Climate social media campaign is working to inspire and support teachers to prepare students to be part of the solutions to climate change.

• Make your voice heard. Take a picture of yourself holding a card with this message : #Teach4Climate because _______ (fill the blank with a few words of your own)

• NOAA wants to hear from you. As a #Teacher4Climate person what do you stand for? What’s your solution, your problem? Send a photo: #Teach4Climate because…

• Tell everyone why you stand with #Teach4Climate. Take a picture and create a postcard filling in the blank: #Teach4Climate because…

This effort is lead by the Alliance for Climate Education, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA, American Meteorological Society Education, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the CLEAN Network, The Wild Center, the World Bank Group’s global partnership program Connect4Climate, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, Earth Day Network, Climate Interactive, National Council for Science Education, National Wildlife Federation and others. It is an open discussion for all to join in the call for education, awareness and solutions to climate change, among both students and citizens.

How might research studies support, qualify and/or disrupt this campaign? You might want to consider findings and arguments from the following articles, which stress the importance of:

  • questioning climate change texts, pedagogies, pedagogues and campaigns about their persuasiveness
  • understanding conceptual difficulties and emotional barriers, as well as epistemological challenges, e.g. when and why framing climate change as a social justice or health issue may be more effective than as a climate science topic
  • appreciating matters of certainty and willingness to act, e.g. “Two broad conclusions emerged. First, many intuitively appealing variables (such as education, sex, subjective knowledge, and experience of extreme weather events) were overshadowed in predictive power by values, ideologies, worldviews and political orientation. Second, climate change beliefs have only a small to moderate effect on the extent to which people are willing to act in climate-friendly ways.” ^
  • investigating critical understandings of what counts as educators’ formative learning about ‘models and the game of modelling’ of climate change and the environment in general
  • why greater attention to teachers’ knowledge, but also values, is critical.

The literature is extensive; the points above are drawn from a small selection:

^ Hornsey, M. J., Harris, E. A., Bain, P. G., & Fielding, K. S. (2016). Meta-analyses of the determinants and outcomes of belief in climate change. Nature Climate Change, (February), 1–6.

Howell, R., & Allen, S. (2016). Significant life experiences, motivations and values of climate change educators. Environmental Education Research.

Plutzer, E., McCaffrey, M., Hannah, A. L., Rosenau, J., Berbeco, M., & Reid, A. H. (2016). Climate confusion among U.S. teachers. Science, 351(6274), 664–665.

Román, D., & Busch,K.C. (2015). Textbooks of doubt: using systemic functional analysis to explore the framing of climate change in middle-school science textbooks. Environmental Education Research. [ free access ]

Sinatra, G. M., Kardash, C. M., Taasoobshirazi, G., & Lombardi, D. (2012). Promoting attitude change and expressed willingness to take action toward climate change in college students. Instructional Science, 40(1), 1-17.

Tasquier G., Levrini O., & Dillon J. (2016). Exploring students’ epistemological knowledge of models and modelling in science: results from a teaching/learning experience on climate change. International Journal of Science Education, 38(4), 539-563.

Wibeck, V. (2013). Enhancing learning, communication and public engagement about climate change – some lessons from recent literature. Environmental Education Research, 20(3), 387-411. [ free access ]
— comments welcome!

2 thoughts on “#Teach4Climate

  1. One of our recent contributors to the journal, Joe Henderson, has written on this topic for the Savage Minds blog, in a piece entitled: “The Challenge of Motivated Reasoning: Science, Education, and Changing Climates” (with David Long). Amongst other things, at the start, they argue: “While simply knowing about climate change is a laudable educational goal, it is also not enough to merely know. Actually moving someone to action—that is, knowing what to do about climate change and why to do it—necessarily entails bringing one’s worldview and values into account, including the possibility that they might need to change. When change asks you to evolve your values, there is often anxiety and resistance.” And towards the end: “What we face, as both an educational and social engineering project, is the need to move the imagined future of many people to one that is radically altered in its use of carbon-intensive resources. Our primary problem is not one of knowledge deficits, although ameliorating them is certainly a start. Rather, it is one of anxiety toward change.” Read more at:


  2. Via Yale Climate Program (@YaleClimateComm) – 38% of Americans think #globalwarming is currently harming the US. Could photos like these from @NOAA change that?


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