August 17, 2021. The Minister of Climate and Environment and the Minister of Education and Science signed a letter of intent expressing the will to cooperate on environmental and climate education. The main goal was to increase environmental and climate awareness of the younger generation therefore in November 2021 an inter-ministerial Team for environmental education, including climate education, and promotion of ecological living conditions was established. The teams included scientists, experts, practitioners and educators, and representatives of youth organizations – the Youth Climate Council, the Youth Climate Strike and the Polish Council of Youth Organizations PROM – were responsible for coordinating the work of the Groups.
The work of the Team began with a discussion of a common definition of climate education, emphasizing after the United Nations (Art.6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Article 12 of the Paris Agreement) that the purpose of climate education is to address and develop effective responses to climate change and to emphasize human impact on climate change.
Below is the team’s definition of climate education:
Climatic education, closely related to environmental education, is the totality of interdisciplinary education and education in the field related to the subject of climate-forming processes, the impact and effects of natural as well as anthropogenic processes, with particular emphasis on the element of human activity in the issue of climate change.
The purpose of climate education is:
- to provide knowledge about the history of climate change on Earth, the impact of this change on biodiversity (biocenosis) and the role of biodiversity in climate processes, in the relationship of natural factors to human well-being, and human activities and impacts on climate change and the effects of these changes;
- Developing practical and social skills for adaptation and mitigation of climate change, including to the challenges of the future arising from climate change;
- Building the idea of cooperation and commitment to climate protection;
- shaping a society that is responsible for actions taken and actions not taken, and that is aware of the priorities of climate policy and the challenges it faces.
These goals are in line with the approach used in the core curriculum and the Integrated Qualifications System taking into account the context of knowledge, skills and social attitudes in the learning process.
Another goal of the team was to prepare 40 lesson plans for elementary and secondary schools on climate protection issues, the program of which will be implemented in the subject of educational hour. In the end, 16 scenarios for classes I-VIII of elementary schools and 24 scenarios for classes I-IV in secondary schools were created. The scenarios are available on the website of the Ministry of Climate and Environment.
A variety of materials have been created, forming a coherent program that introduces climate change issues in six thematic areas: climate science, feedbacks with special emphasis on biodiversity, adaptation and mitigation, energy, social impacts of climate change and sources of climate information.
By placing the finished scenarios in the hands of educators, stage one, or conceptual work, has been completed. The Ministry is now encouraging stage two, i.e. practical verification of the prepared materials by educators during their classes with students. In order to share their opinions or insights, educators were encouraged to fill out a survey available on the Ministry of Climate and Environment website at https://www.webankieta.pl/ankieta/875020/ankieta-dla-nauczycieliedukatorow-scenariusze-lekcyjne.html.
More information can be found at: https://www.gov.pl/web/klimat/zespol-do-spraw-edukacji-ekologicznej-w-tym-klimatycznej-i-promocji-ekologicznych-warunkow-zycia