Why are we not acting to prevent irreversible climate change? Why do we not talk about this global crisis?
How are Bay Area high school teachers addressing climate change in the classroom? Are they addressing it?
I conducted a survey of local high school teachers from across disciplines to get a better sense of how climate change is being taught in one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the world. Having asked them everything from their personal beliefs about climate change to their comfort answering students’ questions about the topic, it has become clear that all of the surveyed teachers not only believe that climate change is happening but that it needs to be taught in schools. This did not in fact translate, however, into a third of the teachers’ actual curricula. Most of the teachers that did not teach about climate change reasoned that it is unrelated to their subject — but this crisis has or will impact every facet of our lives, whether it be the role of our governments, social demographics, the global economy, human health, the themes of art and media, or our perception of the future.
I also researched the human reaction to potential risks, discovering why, for most people, the climate crisis has not induced the drastic lifestyle changes we keep hearing we must make.
By teaching climate change in every class in schools, societies can ingrain not only the urgency of the crisis, but also an action plan and hope into the generations that can — and will — change the course of our planet’s future.