CCEP Final Feb2017.pdf - Climate Change Education

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CCEP Final Feb2017.pdf - Climate Change Education

Transcript Of CCEP Final Feb2017.pdf - Climate Change Education




Preface ............................................................................................. 1 Introduction.....................................................................................3 Working with Key Influentials...................................................... 4 Working with Formal K-14 Educators......................................... 12 Working in Informal Environments............................................ 18 Working with Indigenous Communities.................................... 26 Conclusion..................................................................................... 36 References......................................................................................37 Further Reading............................................................................ 38

Cover images, left to right, top to bottom
1. Educators present about common communication approaches referred to as
“traps” because they tend to lead to unconstructive thinking and dialog.
2. Teachers in a MADE CLEAR Climate Change Academy record observations in a coastal ecosystem
3. Participants in the Signs of the Land: Reaching Arctic Communities Facing Climate Change Camp play a game of EcoChains: Arctic Crisis.
4. Mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina, interviewed for Climate Education Partners’ new movie,
“Coastal Flooding in Our Changing Climate”
5. Young learners in Chuuk explore their mangroves and their five senses using PCEP high and low island poster activities.
6. A student participates in a collaborative climate change and art project at an urban farm in Philadelphia.

• models for educating and empowering citizens to make informed decisions regarding the changing global climate
• powerful, proven educational approaches
• a collaborative community of climate and learning scientists and educational practitioners

Produced by the Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Alliance, this guide provides recommendations for effective education and communication practices when working with different types of audiences. While effective education has been traditionally defined as the acquisition of knowledge, Alliance programs maintain a broader definition of “effective” to include the acquisition and use of climate change knowledge to inform decision-making. The CCEP Alliance is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance exemplary climate change education through research and practice.
THE ALLIANCE IS A NETWORK of six large multi-institutional projects along with a coordinating Alliance Office. The projects are: Climate Education Partners (CEP)-an interdisciplinary collaboration among professors, scientists, researchers, educators, communications professionals, and community leaders concerned about the impacts that changes in climate could have on the quality of life in the San Diego, CA region. Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP)–a diverse local network of climatefocused organizations in four cities (New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.) that delivers collaborative community-based educational programming. Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research (MADECLEAR)–a collaborative partnership of Delaware and Maryland institutions that develops and supports the capacity for its partners to deliver research-based climate change education in public schools, on college and university campuses, and in informal education settings. National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)–a network of informal science education institutions across the U.S. building capacity among informal educators at aquariums, zoos, and science/nature centers to use researchbased communication techniques, with the goal of shifting the public discourse on climate change to be more productive, creative, and solutions focused. Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership (PCEP)–a collaborative effort across U.S. affiliated Pacific island institutions to implement culturally­responsive, effective K–14 educational programs and resources focused on the science of climate change and its impacts on Pacific island communities. Polar Learning and Responding Climate Change Education Partnership (PoLAR)–an interdisciplinary collaboration that includes experts in polar climate science, formal and informal education, learning theory, game design, and climate change communication that develops interactive and game-like educational approaches focusing on the changing polar regions for lifelong learners.

CCEPA Stakeholders, Collaborators, and Audiences

Community leaders: elected o�ficials,
business executives, cultural and
spiritual leaders

Class�oom teachers, p�o�essors, and school administration: �–12, community colleges,

Key In�luentials

Formal Educators

In�ormal Educators

Indigenous Communities

Interp�eters and education sta�f: museums, zoos, aquariums, science and technology centers

Pacific Islanders and Alaska Natives: Elders,
youth, educators, �esou�ces managers

At the core of all the Alliance projects is the recognition that educators have an opportunity to identify and tailor their education to their specific audience.

Figure 1: The Alliance recognizes that achieving its vision requires engaging a diverse range of communities. Together, its projects are using a variety of innovative strategies to reach key stakeholders, collaborators, and audiences. The Alliance has produced this climate change education guide with the hope that the lessons learned from its practices will be useful for other climate change education efforts seeking to provide education that results in informed decisionmaking and action.

Environmental educators have long held the belief that if education results in increased knowledge, then people will use that knowledge to make informed decisions that benefit society and the planet. Unfortunately, this “knowledge deficit theory” is not supported by substantial empirical evidence (Schultz, 2002). In addition, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that factual information coupled with social information regarding what other persons in a community or group are doing can be a powerful combination to influence people to use the information they acquire (Ardoin, N. et al., 2013).
In an effort to support innovative, multidisciplinary, educational approaches and deliver content in ways that result in informed decision-making, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded six research-driven Climate Change Education Partnerships that included teams of climate scientists; learning/social scientists; educational practitioners working in very diverse settings, including the Pacific Islands, urban regions, and the North American Arctic; and state and national education networks. In addition, NSF funded an Alliance Office to foster collaborative interactions and activities among the projects. After five years of planning, implementing, testing, and revising CCEP programs, certain “key lessons” are emerging across the projects that may benefit other existing or developing climate education programs. This climate change education guide is being written to support education efforts for a variety of audiences.
At the core of all the Alliance projects is the recognition that educators have an opportunity to identify and tailor their education to their specific audience. Each population of learners has unique interests and motivations for learning about climate change. Thus, education methods and approaches that are effective for K-12 students may differ from approaches used for non-traditional audiences in aquariums or museums. The community members who come to an outdoor street fair may differ greatly in interests and motivation from key influential leaders who run businesses or city administrations. Likewise, learners bring with them a wide range of historical and cultural influences. This guide suggests some approaches to climate change education that have proven effective for specific audiences.
Finally, this guide seeks to provide a few tested models for the purpose of illustrating climate change education in different situations. Case studies of some of the various approaches to interdisciplinary climate education, using a plethora of modalities, including games, maps, tours, interactive models, video, place-based learning, and many other learning tools, will be described. In addition to the educational activity and resource modalities, this guide also describes how climate science content has been translated or deconstructed into more accessible components and what educational approaches the Alliance has found to be successful for specific audiences.

People in key influential positions across the country are making decisions that determine how communities address climate change. These key influential leaders depend on others working collectively with them to understand the causes and consequences of climate change in their region and to lessen its impacts. Working together with local scientists, educators, and a wide range of community leaders creates opportunities to not only learn from one another, but also to collectively find mitigation and adaptation solutions for challenges presented by impacts on a region’s weather, natural resources, air/water quality and local economy. For example, each development plan, long-term lease, and construction project that key influentials consider connects with climate change. “Our facility began implementing sustainable business practices more than 20 years ago, and we’re proud to be an environmental leader in our industry. Our entire team is committed to minimizing waste, reducing energy and water use, composting food waste and purchasing environmentally sustainable products, which has earned our building a LEED Silver Certification. Every day is Earth Day at the San Diego Convention Center.” –Carol Wallace, President and CEO, San Diego Convention Center Corporation While key influentials comprise a diverse group of community leaders, elected officials, business executives, and spiritual leaders, they share some similar characteristics. They typically consist of people who have many responsibilities, little time, and a list of urgent matters to which they must attend. To begin working with these types of individuals and groups, it is useful to plan an initial meeting where one can share and learn about key influentials’ needs, interests, values, and knowledge regarding climate change. In this first meeting, it is important to create the conditions for a collaborative input of information that will allow the key influentials to frame climate education in a way that enables them to meet their needs and together create an effective plan to support and enhance their current agenda. At first, many key influentials are less interested in the causes of climate change and more interested in learning what impacts they can expect in their local community, when the changes may occur, and what they can do about them. To be effective with this audience, information about climate change impacts and solutions needs to be embedded in the context of their concerns, which usually means providing information about conditions and impacts on a regional level

and if possible, even to the level of the community in which they are invested. The technique of linking climate change projections with extreme events can be effective; an example statement such as, “Droughts like this one are projected to become twice as frequent in 50 years” may quickly capture the interest of a key influential. In the case of healthcare officials, it is useful to provide maps of populations that may be vulnerable to a health threat predicted to increase due to climate change. Engaging key influentials in creating and owning informed statements that they can use effectively in their work is a powerful tool. Due to their limited time, keeping materials and contact opportunities concise, useful, and supportive of key influentials’ agendas is always important.
“We are already taking steps to conserve and restore the lands along our rivers, streams and reservoirs, to protect our vital drinking water supplies that people, plants and animals all need. We must continue, as well as increase these efforts, not just for today, but for all future generations—after all, this is our legacy.”

Translate scientific information carefully,
in alignment with KI values

Provide access to concise, accurate, accessible information

Educate about what other leaders are doing that is helpful and builds community
Provide PR opportunity where the decision-maker is
recognized for leadership

Working with KIs

Facilitate introductions to scientists
Share material targeted to their interests/audiences

Encourage networking with other KIs interested
in climate issues

Become a peer messenger (community)


Where to Start
Set up the first meeting through someone who is trusted by the key influential. If possible, have the contact person present at the meeting to introduce the climate change educator(s) and help facilitate the conversation. Let the key influential know that his or her peers are also interested in these issues. Focus much more on being a resource. Listen and respond to the person’s questions and concerns, rather than sharing a lot of new factual information.
What to Try
Start with inviting key influentials to share their knowledge and experiences as they address climate change in their region. What climate change impacts do they already know about? This will help the educator(s) to assess the key influentials’ prior knowledge. Other more specific questions about local impacts can also be asked. In addition, ask about their sense of efficacy—what they can do and what are they already doing to address these impacts? What are they concerned about—what issues matter to them? What type of information would be useful to them? What do they want their legacy to be for the next generation? What would they like to be able to do? One important service is to try to discover if there are misconceptions about climate change impacts or timing that can be countered with a diplomatic introduction of research-based information or information from other experts in the community important to them. However, in an initial meeting, “correcting” is highly discouraged. The first meeting is about learning about their needs, interests, and hopes and setting the stage for building relationships.
While providing the big picture on climate change impacts is important in establishing the reasons for a community leader to take action that will lead to climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, it is often best to determine a small step that the leader can take to empower them in this area. For example, the key influential could host a meeting for others, give a presentation to another community group, allow their image to be used in educational materials, or appear in a locally-themed video about climate change. The key is to identify whether the person (a) is willing to serve as a connector to other opportunities or a spokesperson, (b) prefers to act as an observer, or (c) seems indifferent. It is appropriate to follow up with those who wish to engage further and together create a community of informed persons who actively share and engage in decision-making related to community resiliency to and mitigation of climate change.
How to Follow-up
Contribute to key influentials seeing themselves as members of a larger group. Plan for a long-term relationship in which the involved scientists and educators are resources to the decision makers. Key influentials are often working to advance multiple issues and have to balance many priorities. Be alert to events in the community and create a shared e-space for ideas and information. Encourage opportunities for useful and relevant climate change information to be exchanged. The key components for engaging with key influentials are to be useful, collaborative, respectful of their time and agenda, and celebratory of their actions that improve the community’s understanding, resilience, and mitigation of climate change. Publically highlighting what key influentials do is essential in helping them to educate the larger community about what can be done to address the challenges of a changing climate.

Project Highlights with Key Influentials
NNOCCI: Informal Science Education Institution CEOs The National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) works primarily with educators, but considers Chief Executive Officers’ (CEO) level support to be important to the success of their work. NNOCCI requested that the CEO of New England Aquarium, Dr. Nigella Hilgarth, try to get onto the agenda of a meeting of CEOs to succinctly translate project goals and indicators of progress. Dr. Hilgarth was pleased to seek that opportunity to share the work her staff have been involved in leading, and several other CEOs who have supported their own staff members’ participation in NNOCCI activities recommended this topic be included on the agenda. As a peer messenger sharing positive indicators that the aquarium and science center industry is fostering useful change, her message was well received and led to additional institutions applying to participate in NNOCCI training programs. PoLAR: Alaska Native Elders Alaska Native Elders have knowledge that includes their long term observations and experience of living off the land: stories, lessons, and insights about the environment and adaptive living that have been handed down through many generations. They are role models for successful adaptation to environmental changes and meeting challenges of a subsistence lifestyle. Beyond sharing their knowledge, sense of humor, and spirituality, they inspire, motivate, and guide the younger generation and provide
InfluentialsClimate ChangeEducatorsCommunityImpacts