“Teaching climate change is very emotional, and helping students embrace those emotions is vital,” shared a teacher attending EarthGen’s newest training, Climate Grief and Creative Expression. This training is designed to equip teachers with skills to address their own climate grief and to support students in the classroom with social emotional learning that will help them manage feelings that can develop when learning about climate change.
Art as a Precursor to ActionEarthGen’s climate education trainings incorporate climate science data and use local environmental challenges to help increase teachers’ content knowledge to support climate education in schools. For many people, exploring the topic of climate change can generate strong emotions. This training helps teachers manage emotions of fear, shock, and even despair that can arise – for both them and their students – during conversations about climate change, through social-emotional learning and art. Identifying and coping with climate emotions is a starting point for taking action towards a better future.
For the Climate Grief and Creative Expression training, EarthGen partnered with Earth Creative, an organization that uses the power of the arts to raise awareness about climate change and advance climate justice. Composer Christophe Chagnard presented his work, Terra Nostra, a 30-minute multimedia symphony about climate change. Watching this helped teachers learn to use creative expression to both cope with strong emotions and raise awareness about climate change.
About 30 teachers from all grade levels in ESDs 189, 114, and 121 attended the first Climate Grief seminar. Participants reported that they left the training feeling hopeful and empowered to teach climate change in their classrooms, knowing that they had multiple tools for supporting students in moving through emotional climate change responses toward taking positive action. “This training has re-inspired me to cultivate a culture of action with my students,” shared an attendee.
Visit the EarthGen website for information on more training opportunities.