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Climate Justice in BC

Lessons for Transformation

Secondary, Middle

Description

This Climate Justice in BC resource package was designed to provide teachers with classroom-ready materials to engage their students with how climate action intersects with social justice. The curriculum features eight modules designed for students in Grades 8 to 12 that explore climate justice within the context of BC’s communities, history, economy and ecology. These lessons tie into subject matter and prescribed learning outcomes (PLOs) already in BC’s curriculum, while providing a framework with which to unpack modern social and environmental issues, such as our industrial food system, consumerism and waste, transportation, and the development of a green economy.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource presents opportunities for students to practice and strengthen those skills associated with

  • critical thinking
  • system thinking
  • data collecting and analysis
  • graphing
  • presenting - taking 
  • defending a position

Strengths

This is a well constructed resource. It 

  • is flexible and allows teachers to choose those modules most relevant to their curriculum needs
  • provides a great deal of background and additional information for the teacher and student
  • employs a variety of pedagogical strategies
  • encourages both critical and system thinking
  • it deals with issues that are both current and critical
  • provides a framework for student action
  • teachers are encouraged to adapt these lessons to their particular classroom needs, or pull out specific activities as appropriate.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The resource has a broad application for those units of study that explore issues of sustainable development, particularly with respect to climate change and social justice. 

Teachers may choose specific modules such as food systems, transportation, fracking, green revolution, and shaping the future depending on their curriculum obligations within the grades 8-12 continuum.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-1:Perspectives on Nationalism : Internationalism & Global Affairs
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Social justice initiatives can transform individuals and systems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada in the Contemporary World: Opportunities and Challenges
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21 st Century: Food from the Land
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Food Supply: Production and Distribution
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Social Justice and Human Rights
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120: Humanity
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Identity: Canada’s Changing Identity : Creating a Preferred Future
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 1201: Individual Rights and the Common Good
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography 3200/3202: World Climate Patterns
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Home Economics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Food and Nutrition 8: The Food Consumer
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Spaceship Earth
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Liveable Communities
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Liveable Communities
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Civic Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Civics and Citizenship (Open): Civic Engagement and Action
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Reducing and Managing Waste
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Energy Conservation
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice (Workplace Pre.) Equity, Social Justice, and Change
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Community Action
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Changing Societies
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Challenge and Change in Society (Univ. Prep.) Global Social Challenges
        • Equity and Social Justice: From Theory to Practice (Univ./College Prep.) Addressing Equity and Social Justice Issues
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: What Can I Do?
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Contemporary World: Environment
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Social justice initiatives can transform individuals and systems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate
        • Social Justice: The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (3)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • Ecological Footprint
    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Economics (1)

    • Poverty Reduction
  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use
  • Food & Agriculture (2)

    • Food Security
    • Local Food
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The resource starts with the assumption that the burdens associated with climate change are not equally shared and that our response must be informed by considerations of social justice but within this framework students are asked to consider questions that encourage them to explore the range of perspectives and options that acknowledge the complexity of the challenges.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

The resource consists of eight modules, each of which encourages students to recognize how current behaviors and practices are linked to considerations of convenience, efficiency, wealth, and well being. In re-imaging an alternative social order, students must explain how the pieces of that order will intersect to achieve the desired ends.The resource has student move beyond the "personal choice" model of social change to re-imagine the systems that surround them.

This is particularly true in the waste module where students explore the concepts of open and closed loops and the idea that we all live downstream and in the module Imagining Our Future wherein students outline a sustainable future that appreciates the links among the economy, the environment, and society.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

Each of the modules includes a segment in which the teacher asks the students to consider and respond to open-ended, probing questions that help students acknowledge the complexity of the issue being discussed and to recognize simple or simplistic solutions. The Fracking Town Hall simulation, for example, has students realize the variety of stakeholders and perspectives that must be considered in any effort to determine whether  fracking should  be allowed in a give community.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good

Each module concludes with suggestions for student action and includes relevant links to on-line resources that help to inform related actions.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

The resource poses a question - what are the ethical considerations in any response to the challenges of climate change? Is the current situation fair and if not what can we do in the name of social justice to right a perceived wrong?

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

The focus of the resource is social justice. Students examine the inequities that exist with respect to the causes and consequences of climate change, recognizing that those elements of society that are least responsible for climate change are often the ones most likely to bear the burden created by that change. 

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

The school and the community are used as a lab where students go to analyse and reflect on current realities and preferred futures with respect to climate change.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Very Good

Each of the modules revolves around two considerations - what is the current reality and what can we do to change it for the better?

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

The resource introduces students to the concept of climate justice in B.C. which assumes there is an issue here. Students explore the topic by collecting or examining data, discussing the implications of that data and move to a consideration context. There is considerable opportunity for students to share their understandings of what is happening and what might be done. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good

The eight modules in the resource cover a diversity of topics - food system, transportation, waste management, fracking, greening the economy, and the future. Each of these has relevance for a variety of subject areas and present significant opportunities for cross-curricular initiates.The Food module, for example, has links to home economics, local and global economics, health issues, environmental concerns, health and income.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Guided inquiry is a central component of the pedagogy employed by the resource. Teachers direct and encourage student thinking and discussion with well constructed and open-ended questions designed to initiate student exploration of the issues being examined. Once the big questions have been identified it largely becomes the responsibility of the students to gather the information needed to arrive at an informed opinion. 

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Very Good

The resource takes advantage of a variety of instructional strategies - videos, power point presentations, simulations, brainstorming, opinion - meters, small and large group discussion and presentations. Teachers are encouraged to adapt these lessons to their particular classroom needs, or pull out specific activities as appropriate.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

The school and the community are used as a laboratory where students go to make observations, gather data, and find resource persons. In imagining a more sustainable future students consider what it would look like at the community level.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

Students are given multiple opportunities for pair-share learning and small and large group activities. Warnings and hints are also included to better ensure that in such activities students are sensitive to the cultural and economic background of their fellow students.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

The resource includes a number of opportunities for formative assessment. These include opinion-o-meters, mapping the school's food system, brainstorming, personal diaries, group reports, and role playing as part of a simulation. 

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good

Peer teaching is an integral component of the pedagogical underpinnings of the resource. Pair-share arrangements are used to have students discuss how they might reduce their carbon footprint or to identify changes they are committed to adopt. In small groups, students map the school's food system, discuss alternate transportation systems, and products so as to reduce waste, and redesign products so as to reduce waste. A double-circle activity allows students to share their thoughts about the present and imagine a preferred future. A simulation on fracking has students explain the perspective of the various stakeholders in that debate.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

The resource has students undertake a number of case studies. They collect and analyze data to better understand the food system, the transportation system, and the waste disposal system as they operates in their school and community.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

The guided inquiry teaching strategy imposes a certain structure on the resource but it does encourage students to investigate those issues that interest them in greater depth and provides the additional resources necessary to pursue that interest. The resource also references a number of organizations that students might consider supporting or joining if they are persuaded that they wish to move beyond understanding to action.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.