Educating for Environmental Change

Teaching about climate change

teachers looking at a worksheet in a forest
Elementary and secondary school teachers learn how to educate young Hoosiers about climate change and related issues at the Educating for Environmental Change Summer Science Institute. Image courtesy of the Indiana Environmental Reporter

Teachers today must contend with multiple barriers to effectively teach their students about climate change and its causes, including misinformation in the media and a lack of grade-appropriate resources. Educating for Environmental Change (EfEC), a collaboration between IU faculty, K-12 educators, and the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology addresses these challenges by providing a professional development program for K-12 educators to effectively teach the science and policy of environmental change.

Utilizing hands-on labs and activities co-developed by IU environmental scientists, the School of Education, the Institute, WonderLab Museum, and local veteran science teachers, EfEC is deepening educator understanding of key concepts related to environmental change, including how we know the climate is changing, how humans are accelerating these changes, the impacts of these changes, and steps to mitigate the severity and impact of climate change.

In 2019, professional workshops for both elementary teachers and middle and high school teachers took place at IU Bloomington. The collaboration built on the success of past professional development programs, with the goal of developing a scalable model to effectively train teachers to teach climate change and build a sustainable network of EfEC teachers. The 2020 workshop took place virtually.