Low Carbon West Oxford, along with fellow CAG Low Carbon Oxford North, and independent expert Kim Polgreen, are partners in a new Oxford University project, which is to receive £6,000 funding from the School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE) Inspiration Awards 2019 fund.
The project, led by the ECI’s Dr Tina Fawcett, will explore how the university’s climate-related research can be used beneficially for new audiences in schools.
Project background: Interest in climate change has leapt to the top of agendas in politics, societies and the media. In February 2019, around 2000 school pupils demonstrated in Oxford, as part of an international youth campaign demanding action on climate change. Staff from ECI, SoGE and beyond offered information to pupils at climate strike events, and many also engage with schools in other ways. There is strong interest from staff in responding to pupils’ calls for more climate change education in a research-based, effective and co-ordinated way. By working with local NGOs and school audiences, this project will enable schools to benefit from SoGE’s research.
The aims of the project are to:
- Compile the best current educational materials for schools, analyse strengths and weaknesses, and outline how gaps could be filled – in particular from SoGE’s climate-related research. This builds on existing preliminary research.
- Experiment with different methods of engagement on climate change – including sponsoring competitions, supporting an after school ‘climate club’, translating existing teaching materials into suitable formats, producing web resources, exploring different on-line teaching / educational methods and platforms, and hosting a workshop for teachers, pupils and parents leading climate change action in schools.
- Build a stronger network among staff in SoGE, ECI, TSU, SSEE and with other departments, local educators and NGOs around schools, climate education and action. This will ensure action continues into the future.
- In combination with Low Carbon Oxford North, and Low Carbon West Oxford and independent expert Kim Polgreen, to develop an ‘Action Guide’ for universities on engaging with schools, based on the results of steps 1 & 2. To be tested with pupils, teachers and university educators & researchers.
LCWO has already been playing an active role as a creator of resources for school-agred children, and coordinator of a network of organisations and individuals seeking to work in various capacities with school-aged children through its Kids Climate Action Network (Kids CAN) work. As well as running workshops for adults interested in engaging with children in a safe and empowering way (see here and here), LCWO has worked with Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon, with support from LEAF and funding from the Low Carbon Hub, to create a pamphlet for Key Stage 2 children. Click here for more information about our work with kids and schools.