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How to teach children climate change, inspire hope, and take action for a better future

How to teach children climate change, inspire hope, and take action for a better future

Protestors in COVID-19 face masks are lying on the road in a protest.

Children and youth are aware that climate change is altering our lives, environment patterns, and futures.

Human-caused climate changes are altering the intensity and likelihood of extreme weather. The rapid rise in disasters in the last 20 years has been a result of these factorsThis could have significant economic and personal consequences. In 2021 Many people in Canada have experienced the impacts of weather-related events related to climate change., including flooding, landslides, heat domes, wildfires, thawing Permafrost and hurricanes.

We reviewed all existing research regarding understanding. Climate change and youth and their mental health in relation to climate change. Our goal is to help young people navigate climate change and envision their futures in the face of multiple social challenges.

Global communities are aware of the impacts of climate change. However, they also have their own effects. Impact is disproportionately highPeople who Feel marginalized and experience structural, social and systemic inequities.

Our research has shown that it is important to move beyond traditional curricular approaches in schools.

We hope to assist in the development of innovative ways to teach children and teens about climate change, while being trauma-informed It aims to foster resilience in children and youth. This includes linking arts-based methods with scientific approaches.

We have also begun a process of interviewing British Columbia educators and reviewing the province’s curriculum to assess how B.C. What is the state of climate change education in British Columbia?

Intergenerational justice

Climate change is a social issue of justice that impacts youth and children in disproportionate ways. Have inherited the problem.




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Children and youth have special needs in climate adaptation, mitigation, and recovery processes. The effects of climate disasters on people’s lives. Children want to be involved in the responses to climate change., but are often not given the opportunity — and when they do act, their efforts can go unnoticed.

These experiences can help young people to see that adults are not taking significant action on climate change. Youth lose hope for their futures. This is especially true in a media-saturated environment where reminders of climate catastrophes are constant. Both truth and liesThey are permeating the news, social networks, and the social environments around them.




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The impacts of climate change, as well as youth and children’s reaction to them, serve as continuous reminders for educatorsParents or guardians, regional planners, and Health providersClimate change is an urgent problem that needs immediate attention. Children and youth today have a lasting impact on how we communicate about climate change, and how we imagine possible social solutions to this shared crisis.

Protestors in COVID-19 face masks are lying on the road in a protest.
In March 2021, people took part in an Extinction Rebellion demonstration against old-growth log logging.
THE CANADIAN PRS/Darryl Dyck

Need for ‘grounded hope’

Children need to be healthy and develop well. Information that not only acknowledges the troubling realities but also equips people to take action to make a difference in the future.

This could be based on the thinking psychologist Lee Daniel Kravetz. “grounded hope” — a way of seeing based in a realistic understanding of circumstances, while cultivating hope by building confidence in our ability to have a role in shaping outcomes. This approach to climate change would encourage young people learn to connect with their community’s strengths and resources and develop tools to envision and build sustainable solutions.

This agency can Stop the despair caused by climate crisis. It is important to foster this agency by combining arts-based methods with scientific approaches. For youth and children Art is more than a powerful and easy way to communicate about climate change.This is affecting their future and lives. However, it also offers a creative avenue to develop new narratives, metaphors, and design principles for building a better future.




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Climate Change Responses

There are many reactions from youth to the climate crisis’ effects on their future.
These reactions include having Stress or anxiety-related responsesThese factors can negatively impact sleep, ability to focus, and relationships. They may feel like the future is out their control, which can lead to a decreased priority for planning for the future (such a further education or express your feelings). Actions that will be takenClimate change must be addressed

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Youth and children need to be taught how to manage stress.Keep in touch with each other in a caring and compassionate manner. When times get tough, it is important to pay attention to both.

A woman rustles a child's hair as she holds a child-made sign that says 'systems change, not climate change.'
Navigating climate change is difficult without being able to connect through compassionate relationships.
(AP Photo/David Cliff)

Trauma-informed approaches

Some youth and children find the climate change effects traumatic, even beyond stress. The Manitoba Trauma Information Centre defines trauma as “a single experience, or enduring repeated or multiple experiences, that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved in that experience.” Research shows that when talking to young people about climate change, A trauma-informed approach to practiceThis builds resilience.

A B.C. Ministry of Education document offering key principles and strategies promoting mental health in schools notes that taking a trauma-informed lens means “Incorporating past and current trauma experiences into all aspects school life.”

Schools must be aware of the cultural and historical differences that students face in terms of climate trauma and other forms resulting from injustice and marginalization.

Life Chances

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the ways in which severe and sustained changes to children’s social world via, prolonged Periods of social isolationAnd school closures, for example, may alter children’s development, prospects for educational attainment Your life and potential opportunities — chances people have for “sharing in the socially created economic or cultural ‘goods’ … in any given society,” as explained by sociologist Anthony Giddens.

Extreme-weather events can lead to similar social and emotional upheavals as well as significant environmental, community, and built infrastructure impacts. Children can be empowered and resilient in this age of climate change by being involved in meaningful ways, regardless of their age and stage.

We look forward to learning more about the ways parents, educators, and role models teach about climate change in resilience building ways. These insights could be useful for future climate change education.

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