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NOT Just Hot Air: UNESCO’s work on Climate Change Education (CCE)

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UNESCO has developed recommendations ‘to prepare nations for change’ by equipping people with a broad base of knowledge, skills, dispositions and values about current and future climate change and its impact and mitigation. The advice focuses on how Climate Change Education (CCE) and Educational for Sustainable Development (ESD) can be integrated across national policies to support relevant ministries and agencies of government to coordinate and support sustainable development. 
 
  • When reviewing their curriculum and practice in relation to CCE and ESD Ministries of Education and education planners need to ensure that:
 
  • A holistic, interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional approach to climate change is reflected across whole-institutions and in all classrooms;
 
  • New curricula are sufficiently open and flexible to allow the curriculum to be adapted to local contexts and made socially relevant to learners;
 
  • New work units for teachers use pedagogical approaches with greater emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills;
 
  • Participatory action and solution-focused approaches help develop lifelong learning skills to empower young people as change agents to address climate change and future uncertainty;
 
  • Students have opportunities to participate in sustainability activities in the school, home and community to help reduce their ecological footprint;
 
  • Teachers and educators have opportunities to participate in pre-service, in-service and professional development activities to strengthen their capacities to integrate local content and promote critical thinking about climate change mitigation and adaptation.