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Students step into the role of delegates to a world climate summit and negotiate an international climate agreement designed to achieve the 2 degree warming threshold (as agreed to in Paris at COP21). In addition to gaining an understanding of counter intuitive dynamics of carbon and the carbon system (ie. the bathtub analogy) students will learn about the real international efforts to limit global warming and experience personally, the social, political, economic and environmental challenges in addressing our world climate crisis.
Students are divided into 3 to 6 groups- enough to represent the different developing and developed regions of the world. Using briefing notes provided with the resource as well as information gained from its own research, each group determines their negotiation position and prepares an opening statement for round one of the summit.
Playing the Game:
In each round of negotiations, a group representative lays out its proposal for achieving the 2 degree reduction target. Based on background information provided by the resource and the group's own analysis, the proposal must include the year emissions will stop growing, the year emissions will begin to decline and the annual rate of decline.
Following the presentations, this information is entered into a computer program (provided) that will analyze the effect of their climate actions and determine whether the groups are on track to meet the '2 degree' goal.
Using the computer program's analysis the groups debrief the climate outcomes resulting from their proposed actions. If the 2 degree reduction target has not been met, negotiations among the groups will continue following the same procedure in a second round.
The Final Debrief:
At the conclusion of a 3rd round (if necessary), students reflect on outcomes of the negotiations and discuss what they have learned.
They are asked to ‘step out’ of their group role and view the climate challenge from a personal perspective. The goals here are to find common ground, determine what personal action can be undertaken and consider next steps.
While students should have a basic understanding of climate change prior to participating in the simulation, all materials needed for students and teachers to successfully conduct the negotiations are provided by the resource.
The resource offers students a very accurate understanding of what takes place during the world climate negotiations (COP) and the challenges involved in reaching agreements.
All of the materials required to successfully conduct the simulation are included.
Systems thinking is promoted. The environmental, economic, political and social dimensions involved in mitigating climate change are effectively illustrated.
The simulation provides for strong interdisciplinary learning.
The resource is up to date and includes a wealth of background information and support for both student and teacher.
In addition to supporting those curriculum outcomes identified in this review, the simulation would serve as an interdisciplinary unit to introduce during the next COP conference and/or as a centerpiece activity during Earth Day, World Environment Day or Earth Hour events.
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|
The simulation does a good job in demonstrating the challenge of reaching consensus when dealing with a wide range of participant perspectives.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
Systems thinking is promoted in the simulation. Each group's proposal is based on understanding the interplay of these dimensions within their countries or jurisdictions.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
The design of the simulation allows students to experience first-hand, the complexities involved in addressing climate change on a global scale.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
While the resource encourages and supports individual action on climate change, carrying out an action plan is not a required component.
|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
|Values Education||Very Good|
Debriefing sessions are built into each round of the negotiations. In the final session students 'step out' of their group role and articulate their own positions, recommendations and commitments.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
Social justice issues, including the current and potential impact of climate change in the developing world are effectively represented in the simulation.
|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|
Students must assess the impacts of climate change on the natural world as part of their negotiations.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students have the opportunity to represent their own needs and perspectives in both the role playing and action planning.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The resource addresses past, present and future negotiation efforts to mitigate global climate change. The resource offers teachers support (and a reminder) to maintain an air of optimism.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
The outcome of the negotiations is dependent on the students' own input.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
The simulation incorporates concepts and themes in climate science, political science, social studies, social justice and geography.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The role play design, variety of other instructional approaches (video, text, research, computer modelling) along with both group and individual learning environments should address a range of student needs and abilities.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The role play & simulation provide students with hands-on experience in a real world context.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Cooperative learning is a key tool in the simulation. While skills are practiced, any explicit instruction of those skills is the responsibility of the teacher.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Assessment tools are not included in the resource.
|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 negotiations that form the basis of the learning in this simulation are dependent upon students sharing and discussing their various proposals.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The briefing notes used by the groups to formulate their negotiating positions provide real data and descriptions of real countries and regions of the world.
|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|
Students are not limited to the briefing notes provided as a source of information. They are encouraged to conduct their own research and there is a wealth of supplementary information included in the resource kit. Students also choose how they wish to arrange themselves and present their proposals including the use of any costumes, props, staging effects and so on.
|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.|