Curriculum Perspectives

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 79–82 | Cite as

Queensland teachers and climate change education

Point and Counterpoint
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Abstract

Climate change presents significant challenges to current and future generations. How is formal schooling helping to meet this challenge? The Australian Curriculum, including the Cross Curriculum Priority of Sustainability, may provide space for teachers to engage with the complexities of climate change in their classrooms but does not, in most cases, encourage teachers to engage with climate change as a complex, multi-dimensional issue and relies instead on teachers’ own initiative. A doctoral research study explored Queensland teachers’ understandings of climate change and climate change education and how these understandings, along with other factors identified by teachers, influence their engagement with climate change education. The data reported here were collected from over 300 surveys and 21 interviews with in service teachers. The results suggest that despite the apparent priority teachers place on climate change education, few feel they are adequately supported to include climate change in their classes in any meaningful way. As a result, many do not include the issue in a formal capacity but rather rely on incidental conversations and discussions. From this study it appears that Queensland’s formal schooling sector is inadequately preparing Queensland students for an uncertain future shaped by rapid climate change.

Keywords

Teacher beliefs Climate change curriculum Australian curriculum 

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Copyright information

© Australian Curriculum Studies Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research and Innovation in Sustainability Education (cRISE) and College of Arts, Society and EducationJames Cook UniversityQueenslandAustralia

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