The webinar series -- Thinking Global, Educating Local -- is intended to serve as professional development for educators who are interested in reducing the ecological footprint of their school and enhancing their school’s engagement with sustainability education.
Webinar: Engaging Youth Climate Activists
Universities have a crucial role to play in addressing climate change, but the complex and multifaceted nature of the issue presents challenges for the traditional functioning of the institution. While there is a growing body of work on campus sustainability and climate issues in the curriculum, there is a need to understand more holistically the forms of influence that universities have on society and the environment. This paper puts forward a framework for understanding the impact of universities on climate change, involving four stages: the modalities of university action (education, knowledge production, public engagement, service delivery and campus operations); direct engagement with bridging actors; the broader influence on societal understandings and practices; and finally impact on the ecosphere. Specific pathways of impact are identified, involving either mitigation of or adaptation to climate change. This framework serves as an analytical tool to identify the trajectories of impact already in evidence, but also presents normative implications for the role of higher education institutions in addressing the current climate crisis.
This presentation summarizes key findings from a recent UNESCO report I coauthored entitled “Educational content up close: Examining the learning dimensions of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education.” The report explores whether, and to what extent, the three learning dimensions -- cognitive, social and emotional and behavioral -- are prioritized in commitments to ESD (and GCED) at different education levels in a diverse selection of ten countries. Drawing on the study’s analyses, the presentation discusses which contexts and conditions are more conducive to an integrated approach to the teaching of education for sustainability.
In this webinar, Professor Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) discusses the existential threats that face humanity: Climate change, nuclear proliferation, and the degradation of democracy. Join the inspiring conversation to learn about the connections between these threats and ways to address them.
Discover how to use snow to measure and explore the impact of climate change and microplastics. Join our guest panelists Patrick Alexander and Laurel Zaima from the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory to learn about the X-Snow and PlastiX-Snow Citizen Science Projects. Find out how to guide K-12 and undergraduate students in taking measurements in the field to unlock the secrets in the snow.
Discover how middle school students became environmental health researchers, to collect and analyze air quality data in their communities using AirBeam technology. CELF staff and NYC teacher Alma Padilla will share how students engaged in a Citizen Science project taking their inquiries and turning them into Action. Using the data, students identified sources of air pollution, understand connections to human behaviors, developed prevention and remediation plans for their communities, and shared their findings with peers and policymakers.
Presentation: Engaging students in citizen science Presentation
In this webinar, Pam Koch, Research Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Center of Food, Education, Program in Nutrition Teachers College, Columbia University and Meredith Hill, Assistant Principal and Garden Coordinator, Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering will provide clear, practical, and fun examples for how school gardens, teaching food system sustainability across the curriculum and using school lunch as a learning laboratory inspire students to adopt sustainable practices in and out of school. Pam and Meredith will also be joined by Debi Slatkin, co-director of the Teachers College Initiative for Sustainable Futures, who will offer food for thought to widen our notion of sustainability and discuss ways to connect with nature.
In this webinar, Sonali Rajan (Assistant Professor of Health Education at Teachers College, Columbia University) will provide an overview of critical environmental health issues and their corresponding impact on schools and youth well-being. She will speak specifically to the physical and socio-emotional aspects of a school’s climate and the ways in which NYC school teachers are drawing on school climate research to inform practice. She is joined by Paul Clarke who is the Vito Marcantonio Peace Garden coordinator and the nominal sustainability coordinator at CPE2, and Shakira Provasoli, an environmental science teacher and sustainability coordinator at PS 333.
Climate change is a complicated and frightening topic. Schools can help with solve climate change by educating students and parents, and by taking concrete steps to reduce our negative impact on the planet.
Presentation: Educators Creating a Climate for Change Presentation
Green teams bring together students, staff and/or community members dedicated to school sustainability through advocacy, awareness and action. More than half (55%) of NYC public schools have a green team. Facilitators discussed the benefits of green teams for students and for the school community as a whole. The webinar also presented tips for engaging students and staff, and ways to overcome challenges and find realistic approaches to implementing sustainability through a green team.
Webinar: How to Build a School Green Team
Presentation: Building a Green Team PowerPoint
Similar to other global cities, NYC has initiated a groundbreaking effort to address the City’s long-term challenge of climate change. Under this initiative, all City agencies must make progress on 29 sustainability indicators by 2030, including recycling, waste diversion, greenhouse emissions, water conservation, and energy efficiency. The initiative affected schools in various ways, specifically through the publication of Chancellor’s Regulation A-850 on sustainability in 2009. The Chancellor’s Regulation requires all schools to appoint Sustainability Coordinators. In the 2017/2018 academic year, there were close to 1,400 Sustainability Coordinators in NYC.
The TC Initiative for Sustainable Futures is collaborating with the NYC Department of Education Office of Sustainability to improve the ways in which schools engage their communities with sustainability issues. Our recent research identified the need for web-based professional development for educators in general and Sustainability Coordinators more specifically. In the 2017/2018 academic year, only 26% of Coordinators participated in any NYC DOE training on sustainability. Majority of Coordinators explained that travel time and the need to find a substitute are the main barriers. However, two-thirds (66%) of Coordinators indicated they are interested in online training.