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Richard Christie_ Sustainability Office_ TDSB - Environmental

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Richard Christie_ Sustainability Office_ TDSB - Environmental Powered By Docstoc
					                Richard Christie                 Page 1
                Franz Hartmann                   Page 2
                Dick Holland                     Page 3
                Catherine Mahler                 Page 4
                Phil McNeely                     Page 5

Richard Christie, Sustainability Office, TDSB

              Climate Change Education for All Citizens – Are We Making Progress?

Climate Change Education – What Needs to Change?

1. Make improvements to the Ontario Curriculum through the ongoing review process.
Responsibility – Ministry of Education
     Put a more explicit emphasis on ecological literacy in general and systems thinking in particular
     “As the manifestations of our global environmental crisis become ever more pronounced,
                  thinking systematically – in terms of relationships, patterns, and processes – will be a
                  critical skill for educators, politicians, business leaders, and professionals in all
                  spheres.”
                  Fritjof Capra, Center for Ecoliteracy

2. Improve quality and quantity of teacher professional development.
Responsibility – Ministry of Education (funding), School Districts (resources), Faculties of Education
     EcoSchools resources such as Heat in the Environment: A Grade 7 Integrated Unit, Our Solar
                  Future: Rich Performance Tasks in Grade 6 Electricity, Grasp: A Tool for Developing
                  Ecological Literacy
     Evergreen/TDSB/Elementary Teachers Toronto Summer Institute
     Demonstration Classrooms
     Climate Change Presentations at School Staff Meetings

3. Make schools more environmentally sustainable.
Responsibility – Ministry of Education, School Districts
     Greening of schoolgrounds
     Nature study areas
     High performance green buildings - e.g. Thomas Wells and Brookside Schools, North Toronto
                  CI, use of geothermal at Highfield Junior School, 10kW solar panels at Hillcrest
                  Community School and W.L.McKenzie CI
     Greening TDSB’s fleet of vehicles – 3 Ford Fusion Security Sedans and 1 Ford Transit Electric
                  Van

4. Become more mature as a field.
Responsibility – Us
Franz Hartmann, Executive Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance
               Climate Change Education for All Citizens – Are We Making Progress?

As an activist my comments are based on personal perceptions from 22 years of participating in
education, discussions, analyses and advocacy on climate change issues.
Climate change is already here and will only get worse. It will destroy the lives of an untold number of
people over the next 100 years to say nothing of entire ecosystems. If it doesn’t destroy civilization as we
know it today, it will radically alter it. I am 100% certain of these facts and that climate change is a
consequence of humans burning of fossil fuels which means we have the capacity to moderate how bad
climate change will be.
Last October my adopted daughter, partner and I returned to China to celebrate the 10th anniversary of us
becoming a family. We had a wonderful time and helped our daughter gain a better understanding of her
birth culture. From a climate change perspective, this family trip was responsible for a huge amount new
greenhouse gas emissions.
Why did I actively organize a trip that I knew would exacerbate the most pressing problem facing
humanity? Why did my behaviour not match my understanding of climate change? Lack of education?
Lack of dedication? Selfishness? Despair? Dealing adequately with climate change is a lot more
complicated than teaching people scientific facts about climate and offering simple solutions.
We need to better understand why people do things that they know aren’t good for them or others. We
need to understand the psychology of how people react to threats and how their reactions are shaped by
family, friends, culture, media, religion, advertising, the economy and politics.
How governments and the economy are organized is exacerbating climate change. I believe we are caught
in a paradox. A key solution to climate change is reforming government and the economy. These reforms
will only happen if people demand them. Not surprisingly, people typically ignore the pleas from
environmentalists to contact their politicians because they don’t believe it will change anything so nothing
does change.
Most people think of the economy as something they have no control over and that their individual
actions will have little impact on large societal problems, especially in comparison to the powers of big
multinational corporations like banks and fossil fuel companies.
That’s why environmentalists have switched their messaging to talk about how doing the right thing for
the environment is actually good for individuals who want to save money. In other words, people have
largely given up on government and the economy.
We have to change this. It’s not enough to teach people about the science of climate change: we need to
teach people about how their actions can make a difference at City Hall, Queen’s Park, Parliament Hill
and Bay Street. We need to educate and inspire people about democracy.
First, we need courses in government, democracy and civic engagement. We have to replace the current
cynicism that exists towards governments and politics with an understanding of how crucial civic
engagement is in the functioning of a healthy democracy and economy.
Second, we need courses in economics that don’t just teach statistics and equations and the laws of supply
and demand. We need courses that explain that the economy is a human invention where, like a game of
Monopoly, rules are set that help some people and hurt others. And we need to teach people that these
rules are not some force of nature but ones that we can change and should change if they don’t work
properly.
To sum up: We need to look at why people have lost hope that they can make a difference. We need to
educate people about the importance and power of civic engagement in politics and the economy.
Dick Holland, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, GreenLearning

              Climate Change Education for All Citizens – Are We Making Progress?

Reflections on Climate Change Education – EEON 2012
                                        http://cool.greenlearning.ca/
What do we need?
• teachers across Canada in all subject and grade levels to think of themselves as responsible for climate
change education – it is that important!
• they need help with authentic tasks, lessons, etc. tied to provincial curriculum
• they need teacher-developed and tested materials that are motivating and empowering
• they need access to current resources and data
Who is GreenLearning?
• Energy and environmental education NGO
• Curriculum aligned, web-based resources for grades 4 – 12+
• Balanced and objective and classroom tested
• Authentic tasks that support student advocacy
• Developed with teachers &delivered through P.D.
What are we working on?
     eCards – a project that sees classrooms in many subjects and grades do research on energy related
        issues and then make an electronic card with their own image and message and send it to
        someone they want to influence. As part of collaboration with UNICEF, for example, we sent
        delegates to the Children’s Forum of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change and all the
        classes working on eCards sent them to the delegates to deliver to the Canadian delegation.
     our big project now is COOL 2.0 !!

COOL 2.0
   COOL 2.0 is a completely free comprehensive database of quality education resources on
     climate change and a Web 2.0 community where you manage learning activities and where
     students collaborate, use social media to complete assignments and engage in action projects.
   Access the best lesson plans and activities, videos, research and data, and collaborative projects
     to teach about climate change, renewable energy and energy conservation.
   Search for resources by keyword, grade level, subject, province, language, and more.
   Use the Teacher Space to customize resources for your students and manage student learning.
   Create assignments that integrate blogs, mapping, online discussions, and media galleries.
   Meet colleagues, exchange ideas in the Teacher Forum, and team up to collaborate on class
     projects.
                                     http://cool.greenlearning.ca/
Catherine Mahler, Education Officer, Environmental Education, Ontario Ministry of Education

           Climate Change Education for All Citizens – Are We Making Progress?

 The government is committed to having all students in Ontario learn about a wide range of concepts and
  issues related to the environment, including climate change. The Minister announced the commitment to
  environmental education (EE) in all subjects and all grades in the Ontario curriculum in June 2007 as a
  result of advice provided by the Curriculum Council.
 Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow: A Policy Framework for Environmental Education in Ontario
  Schools (2009) guides the actions that the Ministry, boards and schools continue to undertake to support
  teaching and learning, student engagement and community connections and environmental leadership.
 Standards for Environmental Education in the Curriculum guides curriculum writers in incorporating
  EE expectations and opportunities related to climate change and other environmental issues in all
  revised curricula in the ongoing curriculum review cycle
 The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8 and Kindergarten Programs: Environmental Education, Scope
  and Sequence of Expectations, 2011 and The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9-12: Environmental
  Education, Scope and Sequence of Expectations, 2011 identify places where EE expectations and
  opportunities exist in the current curriculum and may be used to plan integrated and cross-curricular
  units and programs for students. These resources are updated as revised curriculum documents are
  released.
 Specialist High Skills Major –Environment, and Specialist High Skills Major –Energy were developed
  to enable students to focus their learning on the environmental or energy sectors while meeting the
  requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. For the 2011-12 school year, 47 boards are
  running Environment SHSMs and 28 boards are running Energy SHSMs.
 Please see the Ministry of Education’s website for more environmental education resources and
  information
 Curriculum expectations relating to environmental issues such as climate change are found throughout
  various subjects and disciplines. Some expectations use climate change and/or global warming as the
  context for learning in the examples or teacher prompts (e.g., The Arts, English, ESL, etc.).
 Curriculum also explicitly specifies learning about climate change and/or global warming (e.g., Science
  and Technology, Science, Canadian and World Studies, etc.). Many curriculum expectations also refer
  to closely-related issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, industrial activity, etc.
 The Scope and Sequence documents are a good source of expectations that highlight these
  opportunities.
 Ontario curriculum is research-based and evidence-informed to ensure that expectations are
  developmentally appropriate. Implementation of curriculum policy is the responsibility of district
  school boards and local schools. Boards and teachers plan units of study and develop a variety of age-
  appropriate teaching approaches, taking into account the diverse learning needs and stages of their
  students.
Phil McNeely, MPP for Ottawa-Orléans

          Climate Change Education for All Citizens – Are We Making Progress?

    Mr. McNeely’s successes on the environment:
     o 35 years of engineering work on roads, bridges, sewers, water, environmental assessments,
         transportation, and buildings;
     o Vice-Chair of the City of Ottawa’s Environment Committee;
     o Brought in the Smoke Free Ottawa By-law as a City Councillor;
     o The McNeely Amendment to the Smoke Free Ontario Act banned all cigarettes from being in
         plain sight in retail outlets
     o As a Liberal MPP, passed the Ban on the Cosmetic Use of Pesticides in 2006
     o His private member’s bill on energy labelling passed second reading and became part of the
         Green Energy Act. It also led to stronger energy efficiency regulations in the Building Code in
         January 2012

    Bill 6, An Act to Increase Awareness of Climate Change
     o Passed second reading, but died on the order paper in 2010
     o Intended to educate children to show leadership on climate change
     o Targeted to students from grades 5 to 12
     o Required environmental “report cards” that showed students the indicators of climate change
     o the indicators may have been too complex for young students to understand

    Young people need to be made aware of the indicators of climate change:
     o Changes in Arctic sea ice coverage between 1978 and 2011;
     o Ontario’s and Canada’s carbon dioxide emissions since the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1990;
     o The concentration of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere;
     o Comparative per capita CO2 emissions in the world’s most polluting countries;
     o Total CO2 emissions in the world’s most polluting countries;
     o Species added in the previous calendar year to the Species at Risk in Ontario List and the
         Canadian List of Wildlife Species at Risk;
     o Current and estimated future polar bear populations.

    Environmental Record of the Federal government under Harper
     o Natural resources, energy, foreign and environment policy has been hijacked by the oil industry,
         e.g. Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
     o No action on mitigating climate change. Instead focus on carbon capture, transport, and storage
     o Subsidies for Big Coal and Big Oil while exiting Kyoto
     o Canada is now becoming a pariah on the international stage
     o Changes to CRA’s charity rules to target environmental groups
     o Redefinition of domestic terrorism to target environmental groups
     o Gutting of environmental law that protects our air, water and fisheries
     o Campaign to prevent the European Union’s Fuel Quality Directive

    Moving forward:
     o Become more aggressive in our schools to make children aware of the climate change indicators
     o Get involved in environmental NGOs and vote strategically against Harper
     o Mandate the creation of climate change alliances in schools and provide them with a budget to
       prepare and communicate information on what our municipal, provincial and federal politicians
       are doing to combat climate change. Rank these politicians on the environment, and get the
       message home to parents.
     o Phil welcomes feedback on how to improve Bill 6.

				
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