Building Teacher Professional Learning Infrastructure for Climate Justice Education was published in NSTA’s Connected Science Learning September-October 2021 (Volume 3, Issue 5)
While working with teachers in Washington State, we developed a set of principles for designing climate justice professional learning that aim to support teachers in urban, rural, and suburban schools to prepare students to understand and solve the systemic, interconnected challenges of climate justice. This article shares these principles and provides a vision of climate science teaching and learning that is educator centered, grounded in community, and motivated by action.
As the impacts of global climate change become harder to deny, educators across the world are recognizing the need to consider what climate change education should look like in K–12 schooling. At the same time, systemic racism and social injustice are significant concerns for many young people and teachers, although these topics are generally absent from science classrooms. While principles of climate literacy are well defined, the intersections of social justice with this field of learning are still emerging. Through collaborative efforts, we aim to create infrastructural support—systemic and coherent resources, professional learning experiences, and networking opportunities—for educators to weave this complex learning together and build their capacity to infuse climate justice teaching and learning into their classrooms (Bell 2019; Bowman et al. 2021).