South Africa is particularly affected by the consequences of climate change. The observed rate of warming, for instance, has been 2°C per century or even higher – more than twice the global rate of temperature increase. Addressing climate change is a matter of national concern and (political) urgency.
The role of education in addressing the challenges of climate change is increasingly recognised. It provides children and young people with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about how to adapt individual lives and ecological, social or economic systems to a changing environment.
But unfortunately, there are two key challenges standing in the way of effectively implementing climate change education in South African schools:
- a fragmentation of climate change knowledge and education at all policy levels
- a lack of alignment of climate change education with new science and policy directions
Teachers and school leaders of secondary schools make climate change education part of school and classroom practice.
Keep It Cool creates a coherent policy environment in which the education sector is fully utilised as a strategic resource in South Africa’s transition towards a more climate resilient society.
The project is built around 4 main pillars:
- Addressing climate change education (CCE) in education policy, guidelines and materials
- Overcoming the fragmentation of knowledge, policy and practice of CCE between key actors
- Implementing innovative, curriculum-aligned CCE projects, involving students and communities
- Collecting data on teacher professional development and implemented CCE projects for dissemination
The project also includes a communication strategy that promotes the exchange of knowledge and promising practices among the stakeholders involved and raises awareness and creates support for CCE and for the project beyond its immediate scope.
At the end of Keep It Cool…
- Key policy actors at local and national level have deepened knowledge about CCE and strengthened capacity to effectively integrate CCE in their policies and guidelines.
- Teachers and professional development providers have access to user-friendly and open resources on CCE.
- Professional development providers develop and organise training sessions on CCE for secondary teachers, and further coach, follow-up and inspire trained teachers in professional learning communities.
- School leaders partake in their own professional learning communities to make sure teachers can optimally take up their role in CCE in a conducive environment.
In parallel, selected higher education institutions conduct research (through process tracing) on teacher professional development and implemented CCE projects and disseminate findings at national and local levels.
To reach its goals, VVOB develops the capacity of its education partners in South Africa. VVOB uses capacity development trajectories that give partners maximal responsibility in the execution and management of their own change processes. This is done through technical assistance provided by the VVOB team in South Africa, which includes both local and international educational and change management experts.