Photo: Polar bear haiku by Christopher Michel (CC BY 2.0)
The response of many young people to the climate change emergency reflects their concern for the future and their determination to change society’s attitudes to environmental issues. The GA shares those concerns and that determination. We believe passionately that geography education makes a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding needed when faced with such an important issue.
This is why the GA has advocated for many years for the inclusion of climate change within the formal curriculum and why we continue to encourage informed responses, supported by authoritative resources for schools, such as those featured below. Knowledge and understanding of the atmosphere and the relationship between humans and their environment are now woven into every level of the school geography curriculum and many teachers of geography make these themes a prominent part of their curriculum.
While this knowledge can empower young people to make decisions as active citizens, both now and in the future, we also recognise that many young people do not receive formal geographical education after the age of 14. As educationalists, we need to think of creative ways, both at the national scale and within schools, to provide good quality climate change education to those who have not pursued geography as an option. The demand and the need are demonstrably there.