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Conference connects Climate Change Education with latest research


The Climate Change Education Research Network (CCERN), a GW4 funded project, hosted the first in a series of online conferences on 20th April 2021. The event saw 300 attendees register from across the education sector and beyond. 

The conference kicked off with a video compilation of youth climate activists explaining why they believe the climate emergency should be top of all teachers’ priority list – watch the Youth Voice video here. The inspirational words from the young activists addressed the ‘why’ teachers ought to respond to the climate crisis, the next question was ‘how’. To tackle this from a research-informed perspective, we interviewed Martha Monroe of the University of Florida to establish the theoretical context. Monroe shared findings from a recent review into effective strategies in climate change education. Watch the full interview with Martha Monroe here and read the review here

The next section of the event was a series of quickfire presentations from a multitude of experienced practitioners sharing best practice from the classroom. We heard valuable contributions from teachers from across the CCERN network – watch them here. Sam Williams of Cotham Garden Primary School spoke about his work embedding a climate change curriculum in the primary school setting. Robert Walker of Fairfield High School offered a secondary school perspective from his role as Global Learning Co-ordinator. John Davidson and Simon Ross of Geography Southwest gave an insightful presentation of some of the common misconceptions around climate change. Celia Tidmarsh (University of Bristol) and Will Roberts (Fairfield High School) spoke about various initiatives on the PGCE course which seek to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to climate change education, including the Green Apple project. The Nature Relations group presented a beautiful series of photos to provoke new perspectives in how we think about our relationships with the natural world. Finally, the Primary focus group presented learnings from success stories from their own classrooms.  

A further purpose of the conference was to launch the CCERN School Survey – an innovative approach to researching the current state of climate change education in schools using teachers as researchers to gather data on the ground. Find out more and get involved here

While meeting on Zoom can never fully replace the connections made at in-person events, the conference certainly gave a feeling of being part of something bigger than oneself. The chat was used to make introductions and share ideas – see the chat text here.

The next CCERN conference will happen towards the end of June. Sign up to our mailing list and follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop. If you want to get more involved please contact us at ed-climate@bristol.ac.uk

The Climate Change Education Research Network (CCERN) is an initiative of the University of Bristol, University of Bath, Cardiff University and the University of Exeter. We exist to connect academic researchers and educators to address the big questions in Climate Change Education (CCE) together.

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This blog is written by Lauren Hennessy. Lauren is the Research Associate on the Climate Change Education Research Network. She is also a Maths teacher by training and her research interests are youth climate activism and effective strategies for delivering climate change education with a focus on social justice. 

Lauren Hennessey




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