As young people across the country join the global movement to mobilize school strikes to demand climate action, one group is starting to think more seriously about how to best support those efforts: their teachers.
The latest installment of our Earth, Justice, and Our Classrooms column looks to a piece of very good news that national media missed following the 2018 midterm elections. By a margin of almost two-to-one, tens of thousands of Portland, Oregon, voters approved an imaginative clean energy initiative that offers a model for the rest of the country — at the ballot box, but also in our classrooms.
A Connecticut educator who taught English to incarcerated young men for 20 years describes what happened when she introduced her students to the Canadian “Leap Manifesto.”
“Climate justice” education means a lot of things. But one key aspect is that we involve students in probing the social and economic roots of the crisis.
How we seed and support student activism will vary from community to community, school to school, and grade level to grade level. But this is a crucial moment in history, and what we do as educators matters. When we help students explore and analyze exploitation, injustice, and danger in the world, we can also help them develop the knowledge and skills to change it.
The third installment of our new environmental justice column celebrates the annual two-day Climate Justice Fair at Madison High School in Portland.
An elementary school teacher developed the Quetzal Conundrum game to help students understand the impact of global warming in Costa Rica.
In the spring 2011 issue of Rethinking Schools we editorialized about the immense gulf between our terrible environmental crisis — especially the climate crisis — and the adequacy of schools’ curricular response. Seven years later, we still see this gap between crisis and curriculum — which is why we are launching this regular “Earth, Justice, and Our Classrooms” column: to offer encouragement and resources for teachers to help students explore the roots and consequences of the crisis and figure out how to respond.
The second installment of our new environmental justice column focuses on one part of a resolution passed by the Portland, Oregon, school board that mandates the school district not use text material that doubts “the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities.”
A teacher adapts the “Climate Change Mixer” designed for older students as a springboard for a unit on global warming and climate justice.
A teacher shows his 3rd- and 4th-grade students the Heartland Institute’s climate change denial book that was sent to every science teacher in the nation.
Two days after the election, 21 plaintiffs, aged 9 to 20, won a critical court ruling on the constitutional obligation of the U.S. government to protect our children’s right to […]
A high school social studies teacher centers Standing Rock Sioux history and leadership in a unit on resistance to DAPL.
Ninth graders explore a plan to strip-mine coal in Wyoming and Montana, send it by train to the Northwest, then ship it to Asia to be burned.
By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca At the end of August a group of student activists presented a letter to the Portland, Oregon, School Board regarding their plans to walk out of school […]
By the editors of Rethinking Schools As Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope wrote recently in The Nation, “There is a runaway train racing toward us, and its name is climate change. […]
TEACHING CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS As we celebrate Earth Day, we invite you to join us in taking sides for the Earth by teaching climate justice and becoming […]
By Moé Yonamine “Don’t cry here,” an 86-year-old Okinawan grandmother I had never met before told me. She stood next to me and took my hand. I had been visiting […]
[This is the third installment of our new environmental justice column — Earth, Justice, and Our Classrooms — and celebrates the annual two-day “Climate Justice Fair” at Madison High School […]
By the editors of Rethinking Schools The 2018–19 school year has begun at a time of terrifying climate disruption, seemingly endless war, spectacular inequality, xenophobic and fascist revival, police brutality […]
Five years in the making, A People’s Curriculum for the Earth is a collection of articles, role plays, simulations, stories, poems, and graphics to help breathe life into teaching about the environmental crisis. The book features some of the best articles from Rethinking Schools magazine alongside classroom-friendly readings on climate change, energy, water, food, and pollutionÑas well as on people who are working to make things better. A People’s Curriculum for the Earth has the breadth and depth of Rethinking Globalization: Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World, one of the most popular books we’ve published.
At a time when it’s becoming increasingly obvious that life on Earth is at risk, here is a resource that helps students see what’s wrong and imagine solutions.