CLEARWATER,FL | March 2, 2023 – Teachers want cross-curriculum projects with real-life impact that allow climate action to be present in students’ everyday lives. New results of a survey of over 1,000 respondents from 38 countries by Take Action Global, EARTHDAY.ORG, and Shift Sustainability highlight promising strategies and barriers to teaching and learning about climate change.
“We see educators and students leading the charge to protect the planet through climate action. We see this survey as an opportunity to document the diverse experiences and perspectives within the global education community and as a supportive resource to guide the way forward,” said Dr. Jennifer Williams, Co-Founder, Take Action Global.
The research uncovered perceptions of a significant disconnect between teachers and educational leadership in the work of taking action around climate change. Another finding found that while 71% of the sample wanted to see more promotion of climate education on a national level, only 5% believed that support from their government was currently effective. The partners plan to share the findings widely throughout the year.
The global survey, designed following in-depth interviews with classroom teachers and education professionals, sought to uncover the views of diverse stakeholders and to add to the growing body of knowledge on climate action education. Survey respondents included classroom teachers, department heads, principals, and librarians, as well as those working in educator roles in wider organizations, including nature centers and government departments around the world. Shift Sustainability (part of UK research agency, Shift Insight) lent their research expertise and their experience of exploring sustainability issues with educational audiences to the project:
“We’ve been delighted to partner in this collaborative project with TAG and EARTHDAY.ORG, which we hope generates some useful guidance, prompts new questions and contributes helpfully to the body of work in this area,” said Jenny Kedros, Research and Insights Director, Shift Insight.
The research is timely and in-line with other results: a recent UNESCO survey, for example, found that while 95% of surveyed primary and secondary teachers felt that teaching climate change is important, less than 30% expressed a readiness to teach it.
“We would like to help policymakers to better understand the barriers to implementing high quality education for climate action, as well as the strategies our peers and colleagues are using to remove those barriers,” Take Action Global Co-Founder Koen Timmers said. “Notably, we saw a strong demand for climate education to be built into the curriculum across subject areas and to be legislated as a requirement by governments.”
EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day (1970), EARTHDAY.ORG is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. Today, more than 1 billion people in more than 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year. Learn more at: https://www.earthday.org
About Shift Sustainability
Shift Insight is a UK-based market and social research agency with a global reach, experts in speaking to diverse audiences about education and sustainability, developing research and generating insight in these areas. One of the first B Corp market research agencies in the UK, Shift is passionate about using its twin specialisms of education and sustainability to work on collaborative projects which make an impact in addressing the Climate Emergency. For more information, visit www.shift-insight.co.uk.