Climate Justice Education Project
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Climate Justice Committee and Children & Teachers Foundation (CTF) of the CTU has developed the Climate Justice Education Project (CJEP). The overarching goal of this project is to address the root causes of climate change by uplifting the voices of communities who have been least culpable and most affected: Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and youth generally. This project will seek to win environmental justice and clean energy transformations by developing educational and advocacy opportunities for Chicago educators, students, and communities. CJEP will achieve this by reaching educators and students through two approaches: providing professional development for teachers and following up with continued support for teacher-led educational experiences that empower students to investigate climate problems and solutions and tell their stories using videos produced for traditional and web-based media. By learning how to teach students across Chicago how climate change works, how to investigate climate problems and solutions, and how to get involved in civic action for climate justice, teachers will empower students and their colleagues to demand green policy solutions that transform the physical infrastructure and the everyday practices of schools and communities. The Energy Fund’s support will finance the production and implementation of a professional development series for Chicago Public School teachers along with follow-up educational resources and supports to help teachers lead successful climate justice programming with their school communities.
CJEP’s goal is to provide educators with climate justice pedagogy, curriculum, educational materials, and ongoing support to bring coherent, accessible, culturally responsive, and student-centered climate justice education to public schools across Chicago in order to empower young people and their school communities to advocate and win green policy transformations that truly address the imperatives of the climate crisis.
- Provide climate justice professional development offerings that increase the knowledge for CTU educators of the climate crisis and the need for environmental justice and clean energy.
- Develop educators to incorporate climate justice education into their curriculum and instruction across grade levels.
- Support 10 educators across Chicago to facilitate climate justice student programming that incorporates student investigations and public advocacy of school and community-based climate solutions.
Teaching Climate Justice: Inquiry to Action
For currently practicing CPS K – 12th grade educators and support staff
Instructors: Ayesha Qazi, Charles Stark, and Nicholas Limbeck
In this course, educators will collaborate to learn ways they can teach the topic of climate change through student inquiry projects that connect to issues of racial justice, climate solutions, and civic action. All live online sessions and asynchronous activities focus on educators learning to engage students in climate change for all content and grade levels. Participants will learn strategies to develop and facilitate inquiry projects that lead students to research the impacts of climate change to create civic action by students toward the goal of mitigating climate change. This offering addresses the CPS Framework for Teaching Components: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 3a, and 3c.
Participants will learn how to:
- Engage students on climate change at many grade levels in a way that fosters student empowerment, hope, and advocacy.
- Adapt and integrate climate change curriculum with other subjects.
- Connect climate justice education to racial justice and their students’ personal experiences.
- Facilitate inquiry projects that lead students to research the impacts of climate change and the local actions schools and communities can take.
- Coordinate meaningful civic action by students toward the goal of mitigating climate change.