The Office for Climate Education resources to teach about climate change
The Maison pour la science en Alsace is organizing with the OCE (Office for Climate Education) a cross-border event with schools on the theme of climate change. Four middle schools, including a German middle school, are taking up the challenge with concrete and innovative themes (sustainable mobility, heat waves in the city, reducing the environmental impact of school canteens, posters, etc.). Here we advise you on their turnkey resources
An international initiative for climate change education
The Office for Climate Education (OCE) was created in 2018 in order to promote a strong international cooperation between scientific organisations, education institutions and NGOs, with the aim of educating the young generations of today and tomorrow about climate change. These new generations will have to be prepared to live in a changing world. Hence, the OCE aims at providing them with the tools they need to understand and act, and to be aware of received ideas and avoid irrationality.
The OCE and its partners produce education resources and provide professional development and support to teachers around the world, particularly in developing countries. The main target of these actions are K-1 to K-9 teachers, with students between 9 to 15 years old.
Based in Paris, the operational OCE team coordinates a worldwide network of local and regional partners. This network is supported by both the scientific community (research institutions, academies of sciences, …) and various NGOs, which contribute with their expertise to the production of education resources and to the professional development and field support of teachers. This community of practice ensures that schools get moving to face future challenges in a sustainable and holistic way, deeply rooted in their social environment and local communities.
High-quality scientific and education resources
Climate change education requires necessarily a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses subjects from both natural (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, etc.) and social sciences (geography, economy, etc.). The OCE follows the publication of the IPCC reports with education resources for teachers that are cost-free, multilingual and royalty-free.
The resources proposed by the OCE and his partners include inquiry-based learning activities, such as investigation-based activities, project-based learning, role-playing games, debates, etc. These resources aim at promoting action and positive thinking, keeping in mind the social issues that are inherently linked to climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges. They are thus adapted to local contexts and they are tested in pilot classes in different countries before being published. Similar resources, that may already exist within the network of partners, are also put forward.
Professional development and support for teachers
The professional development actions proposed by the OCE are, depending on the target public and needs, oriented towards scientific topics, social issues, education practices or project managing. These actions may be carried out through face-to-face workshops that include hands-on activities, online workshops, conferences, field trips (to schools, research laboratories, industries, farms, eco-centres, etc.) or a methodological follow-up of local education projects. The OCE further organises seminars, summer schools or symposiums, bringing together teachers, professional development providers and researchers, in order to promote experience sharing and communication between the different members of the network.
Supporting education policy-making
The OCE helps public institutions in charge of conceiving and defining public education policies related to sustainable development, with a focus on the inclusion of the climate-change topic in school curricula and/or teachers’ professional development.