Climate Literacy Teacher Workshops and Professional Development

Climate Literacy Teacher Workshops and Professional Development

Project Leads: Jacob Barton, Elizabeth Fair, Helen Fitzmaurice

Sponsor: UAW 2865, Student Workers Union

Project Theme: Environmental Education

2019 Application Submission 

Project Description: Acknowledging UC Berkeley’s place in the East Bay community, this project seeks to ensure that those students’ teachers have the pedagogical tools for such an educational undertaking, primarily by facilitating, through UC Berkeley graduate student climate content experts, two professional development climate literacy workshops, teacher-to-teacher mentoring, and an end of year symposium in Spring 2020.

These workshops, co-hosted by UAW 2865, the Environmental Justice Caucus of the Oakland Education Association, and the Environmental and Climate Change Literacy (ECCL) working group within the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), will bring together UC Berkeley preservice teachers and inservice Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) teachers to work toward the common goal of ECCL for all students. For OUSD teachers and students, the workshops will develop pedagogical approaches and curriculum plans for sustainability, earth science, and climate policy to be integrated across school curriculums, particularly in classroom spaces outside of the sciences. For UC Berkeley graduate student facilitators, the sessions will enable them to apply climate-rich pedagogy to their work at Berkeley, bringing climate literacy to a necessary and prominent place in a wide range of academic disciplines. Participants from both UC Berkeley and OUSD will share the outcomes of lesson plans developed in these workshops at an end of year symposium in May 2020. The project will help create collaborative and educational spaces on campus from which environmental education in our community can be fundamentally deepened and expanded.

Goals of Project: 

  • The overarching goal of this project is to facilitate collaboration and action — aligned to the  ECCL mission — between UC Berkeley graduate students, UCB preservice teachers, OUSD teachers, and the larger East Bay community in order to achieve a just and sustainable future for K12 students.
  • Through two half-day Saturday workshops, in February and April 2020, 50 attending pre-service and in-service teachers will gain exposure to Bay-Area-specific climate change content knowledge and curriculum resources and leave with action-oriented lessons plans to bring to their classrooms.
  • Through the May 2020 symposium, UC Berkeley pre-service teachers and OUSD in-service teachers will share lesson plans and classroom projects created through the workshops, reflecting on aspects that worked particularly well or could be changed. At the end of this symposium, participants will have a structured session to plan for future implementation of Climate Literacy in their practice.
  • Through pre-workshop and post-workshop surveys, this project will tailor content, strategies, and materials to teacher needs and interests and measure the effectiveness of the workshops for teachers; in so doing, we will measure our resulting climate change literacy impact.