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In this unit, students assess individual and national opinions on climate change and explore strategies that communities are employing to adapt to aspects of climate change that are already affecting them or may affect them in the future. They will complete a survey on one's "climate change personality"and compare the class results to national results; distinguish between climate change mitigation and adaption; and read brief case studies about the insurance industry's response to climate change, the "Room for the River" program in the Netherlands, and city planning for heat waves. Based on these examples and knowledge of their own community, they will suggest possible adaptation strategies that will be most beneficial to their area. The teaching collection here can be applied as a stand alone day of instruction or as part of the complete Climate of Change InTeGrate Module.
The resource is particularly useful in strengthening student skills in reading and interpreting maps and graphs and in organizing and presenting material.
The resource strengths include:
Relevance - discussion and debate over mitigation and adaptation strategies are likely to occupy a considerable amount of public discourse in the immediate and long term.
Pedagogy - the use of case studies within the context of a gallery walk requires students to take responsibility for their learning.
Supporting materials - the resource has considerable background information to help teachers and students understand the complexity of the challenges involved in mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Students should have an awareness of the concept of anthropogenic climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as measured trends in greenhouse gas emissions before undertaking this unit of study. It may be regarded as a concluding unit to a study of climate change that has had students investigate the causes and consequences of climate change. If this required background understanding is not in place, teachers may wish to make use of the other modules in this series.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
Students are introduced to the variety of opinion groups (alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful,or dismissive) identified in a Yale study on American attitudes to climate change and asked to decide which of these categories is most descriptive of their own 'climate personality'. Once the individual data has been collected, a comparison can be made between the 'class personality' and the 'national personality. No attempt is made to impose a 'right personality'.
The various case studies used to illustrate climate adaptation are intended to inform students of something of the variety of possible responses rather than convert students to a particular response.
Finally, students are encouraged to give thought to the possible affect of climate change on their community and what adaptive strategies might be pursued locally.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
The study of the cause, effects and possible responses to climate change provides an excellent opportunity for students to explore the the interplay of environmental, economic, and social considerations. Students will recognize how our economic activity is alternating our atmospheric environment and the social and other"costs" we are being asked to pay.
The examples offered to illustrate adaptation further illustrate this interplay. The Dutch response recognizes the need to work with rather than against the environment. The insurance industry case studies are examples of the use of financial incentives and dis - incentives to leverage changes in people's behavior. The use of cool roofs to reduce the impact of extreme heat waves illustrates societies talent for innovation.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The survey of America's climate change personality, revealing as it does the spectrum of positions its citizens hold about climate change, helps students realize the difficulty of taking action when no consensus exists.
The examples of ways in which we might adapt to climate change indicate something of the complexity of the issue and the range of possible responses, while helping students realize that these responses are expensive and not within the financial capacity of many nations. Students must then weight the cost of adaptation against the cost of doing nothing.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
The resource suggest that following their investigation of the case studies provided, students examine their local community to identify possible adaptation strategies that will be most beneficial to their area.
InTeGrate supports this particular teaching module and others with a number of complementary resources, one of which is 'Connect to the World We Live In' , which includes information on service learning and how students may get out into their communities and apply their knowledge to concrete problems of high interest to people who live there.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
The module encourages student reflection on their own beliefs about the existence of climate change, human's contribution to climate change, and the potential impact of climate change on society. Further opportunities are provided for reflection on the inequity associated with respect to the causes and consequences of climate change and the need for climate resilience in industrialized and developing countries.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
While exploring the different strategies for mitigation or adaptation in responding to the challenges posed by climate change, students will recognize that such strategies are costly and not available to all societies. Such considerations may be expected to lead to a broader discussion of social inequities and justice within the context of climate change.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
In examining the larger topic of adapting to climate change, students are required to consider the link between natural phenomena such as floods, heat waves, droughts and climate change. The case studies provided to illustrate this link and the suggestion that students look at their local communities in this context will make students more aware of their natural environment and the potential changes to that environment resulting from climate change.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students are asked to compare the national climate change profile with their own profile and that of their classmates. After investigating a number of case studies describing how institutions or communities have mitigated the effects of or adapted to climate change, students use these examples in combination with their knowledge of their own community to suggest possible adaptation strategies that will be most beneficial to their area.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The focus of the module is on current practices aimed at mitigating or adapting to climate change and possible future responses.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The first segment of the lesson module has students reflect on their degree of concern with respect to climate change by placing themselves on a spectrum with 'alarmed' at one end and 'dismissive' at the other. There is no 'correct' spot on the spectrum and discussion among students as to why they occupied the position they did allows for a multitude of perspectives to be heard.
The second segment of the module involves a 'gallery walk' in which students working in groups examine a number of case studies illustrating climate change adaptation strategies. They are required to discuss and answer a number of related questions some of which are of a factual and others more open-ended, thereby allowing for an exchange of views.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
The organization responsible for this and related modules is called InTeGrate and its banner describes it purpose as providing interdisciplinary teaching resources about Earth and a sustainable future.
The module includes several case studies of climate change adaptation, one of which investigates adjustments made by insurance companies, a second examines the use of metal roofs as a response to growing heat waves, and the third outlines strategies used in the Netherlands to deal with the possibility of increased flooding. Taken together, the case studies have relevance for courses in Economics, Science, Geography, World Issues and Environmental Science.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
In the Gallery Walk segment of the module, teams of students rotate around the classroom, composing answers to prescribed questions, while reflecting on the answers other students have provided. The technique closes with an oral presentation or "report out" in which each group synthesizes comments to a particular question. This combination of teacher direction and student response is in keeping with the principles of guided inquiry.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The module combines a number of teaching strategies. The climate personality survey requires students to reflect upon and defend their perspective on climate change. The Gallery Walk gets students out of their chairs and encourages students to speak the language of climate adaptation rather than simply hearing it from the teacher.
The module also includes relevent images, radio broadcasts and media clips for those students who benefit from auditory or visual components in the lesson plan.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
There is more 'doing' in this module than 'listening'. Doing includes students comparing their and their classes climate change personality with that of the nation; working in teams as part of a gallery tour of climate change adaptation strategies; and presenting an oral report on their understanding of and position on various adaptation strategies.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
The Gallery Walk activity requires that students work in teams in which they discuss questions posed, try to reach consensus on their answers to those questions and organize an oral presentation that reflects the team's perspective on the issue being investigated.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
Several suggestions are provided to help teachers assess the effectiveness of the gallery walk strategy. General suggestions for formal and informal assessment of gallery walks are outlined in a related website. Informal evaluation may consist of the teacher simply rotating between groups and making sure each group is on task. There is further opportunity to observe and assess student learning during the report out phase and during class discussion relating to the report out. Example of questions that can be asked disengaged students during a gallery walk are also provided.
For more formal evaluation, a section is included that contains rubrics for grading the quality of group participation, oral presentations, and written work
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
The team approach to the gallery walk encourages students to share perceptions and ideas about the topic under consideration and to cooperate in creating and delivering a report on their findings.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
The gallery walk has students focus on a number of case studies that illustrate some of the adaptation measures that have been introduced in response to the challenges of climate change.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
The guided inquiry approach used in the module has teachers and students sharing the responsibility for learning. The teacher presents the questions for student investigation and provides a framework for that investigation but authority then shifts to the students as they work through the process.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|