Kids today will face a future with more severe droughts, stronger storms, and rising sea levels.
Yet many schools are not preparing students for the climate of tomorrow.
“Of course there are exceptions … but overall, we’re just not doing enough,” says Judy Braus, the executive director of the North American Association for Environmental Education.
Her group recently surveyed hundreds of teachers and school administrators across the country.
The surveys showed that most teachers want to cover climate topics but many feel unprepared to do so. And they worry about resistance from some parents.
“They don’t feel confident or informed, and that makes it really hard for them to be able to integrate climate change into what they’re doing,” Braus says.
So she says it’s important for administrators to make climate change part of the formal curriculum and to provide teachers with training and resources. She says museums, science centers, universities, and other community institutions can often help.
And she says parents can play a critical role by advocating for climate education.
“Teachers are truly the backbone of our society,” she says. “And they need more support from administrators, from parents in the community, as well as through policies that support this important work.”
Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media