Most Americans support climate change education that empowers and prepares students for the future, according to a new TC report. And this July, several K-5 teachers will gain needed professional development training in climate education as part of the free 2023 Summer Institute: Integrating Climate Education in NYC Public Schools

Hosted by the Center for Sustainable Futures at Teachers College and the Office of Sustainability in the New York City Public Schools, the four-day Summer Institute will provide tangible support for incorporating climate change across different subject areas. Participants will receive a $1,000 stipend, and may earn up to 28 Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) credits.

“To prepare young people for the sustainability challenges and opportunities they’ll face in their lifetimes, teachers and school leaders need to be involved,” says Associate Professor Oren Pizmony-Levy, Director of the Center for Sustainable Futures, who will join other faculty, doctoral students, city school leaders and NYC-based public school educators in what is designed to be a robust learning community. 

This unique professional development opportunity is one of many programs supported by a 2021 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish LEAP (Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence & Physics), a new Science and Technology Center based at Columbia University.

[Learn more about sustainability research and work at Teachers College here.]

The announcement of the Summer Institute coincides with the release of a new report detailing public sentiment on climate change education from TC’s Center for Sustainable Futures and The Public Matters. 

Highlights from the report include:

  • Most Americans support an intersectional, comprehensive approach to teaching students about climate change in order to address related topics such as nutrition access, environmental racism, misinformation, etc.
  • Most Americans support curriculum that aims to prepare students for “green jobs” in anticipation of increased demand for sustainability intervention and shifts in education, as well as helping students cope with climate anxiety
  • Most Americans support the inclusion of climate change in teacher preparation and curriculum
  • Political ideology plays a significant role in attitudes related to climate education

Read the full report, and learn more about the Summer Institute here. Applications are due May 1.