Earlier this year, an important poll about climate education reached a surprising conclusion: 4 in 5 parents wish climate change would be taught in schools.
NPR summarized the polls results, saying:
More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school.
A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory — 86% agree that climate change should be taught.
This is really good news, in a world that needs not just awareness of climate breakdown but a deeper sense of how we can respond to it with our lives and our best creative solutions. Even so, NPR went on to note:
More than half — 55% — of teachers we surveyed said they do not cover climate change in their own classrooms or even talk to their students about it.
The most common reason given? Nearly two-thirds (65%) said it’s outside their subject area.
Through our project, Poetic Earth Month, we wanted to help teachers find a way to integrate climate into their subject areas in a seamless fashion.
Since writing across the curriculum is a central educational technique, that’s where we started: with writing. It’s also common for classrooms to use a cross-disciplinary approach, blending language arts with science, for instance. Putting these variables together, we designed a 30-days, 30-poems challenge that brings together language arts, science, and writing—in a holistic approach to climate that begins with people and what they care about.
The result? A resource based on the successful UCEFUL model (“create understanding, connection & care, engagement, and a sense of fullness and pride): Earth to Poetry: A 30-Days, 30-Poems Earth, Self, and Other Care Challenge.
Of course, the resource is usable by more than just classroom teachers. Anyone who wants to reflect deeply, explore curiously, and act creatively will find Earth to Poetry to be a source of inspiration, guidance, and discovery.