Association for Citizenship Teaching Conference – 29th June
Volunteering is an important aspect of spreading the word to raise awareness and motivate climate action.
Our Carbon Literacy Trainer, Joey Coombs, a key member of Speak Carbon’s Education Circle, recently attended the ACT Teaching Conference.
Here are Joey’s reflections on the day
The theme of the conference was ‘Climate Empowerment – The Role of Citizenship and Personal Development for Teachers’. The event was held at UCL, which was appropriate as it has a centre for climate change education.
It was a busy day with approximately 150 educators from around the UK attending. Keynote speakers emphasised the importance of discussing not only the science but also concepts of climate injustice and responsibility. They also spoke on exploring the political and economic implications, leading into what role governments should be playing. Additional themes were solutions including technological initiatives and importantly, turning education into action.
An interesting panel discussion was held, with Lord Peter Lilley, an advocate for environment and chair of the Climate Change Committee. He was advocating new fossil fuel extraction as an unavoidable part of the solution (causing alarm bells in my mind).
Clearly an appetite existed amongst attendees to step up “climate literacy” in the curriculum and use the citizenship framework to educate and empower students to work to reduce carbon emissions.
Climate Change and Fast Fashion
Our workshop was ‘Climate Action through Fast Fashion, ’ led by myself, with Zoe Dixon from Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School (SHFGS). Together, we facilitated a healthy 30 attendees.
The seminar showcased practical examples of how we delivered Carbon Literacy in SHFGS. One such demonstration was a quiz game on ranking international carbon footprints. We were delighted with the high level of engagement and questions received.
We also workshopped an activity around fast fashion habits outlining a six-stage process to action, listed here;.
- Survey – How many new clothes and shoes do you buy each month?
- Research – What is the impact of Fast Fashion on Climate Change?
- Brainstorm – What action can you take to reduce this impact?
- Plan – How will you organise your action – marketing/venue/equipment?
- Do – Hold your event (keep it simple)
- Review and Resurvey – How did it go? Did it change behaviour?
The aim of the workshop was to encourage participants to not only think about their own fashion footprint. The intention was to create confidence and guide them to consider their opportunity to create a ripple effect by their influence on students to consider, in turn, their fashion footprints.
Several participants expressed an interest in building on their learning by bringing our Carbon Literacy training programme into their educational setting.
It was great day out and really motivating for me to see so much commitment and enthusiasm for a) meaningful climate change education in the curriculum b) ensuring young people have the confidence and agency to take action.