The 2024 Climate Collaborative for BC Educators

The 2024 Climate Collaborative for Educators is made possible through the generous support of the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC) and Crofton House School.

What is The Climate Collaborative for Educators?

Returning for its 4th year, The Collaborative is a multiday, transformative professional development (Pro-D) series that brings together topic experts, passionate teachers of grades 7-12 and dedicated professionals who strive to develop a deeper understanding of the interconnected nature of climate change.  The Collaborative was designed by Sue Roppel (Kimberley Foundation), Tom Harding (West Point Grey Academy) and Dr. Travis Fuchs (Crofton House School & Honorary Norhan Fellow at the University of Oxford Faculty of Education).

Comprised of  three in-person sessions, The Collaborative employs a variety of learning and engagement formats to deliver an innovative pedagogical experience. Learning takes shape through:

  • Guided Learning Seminars: confidence boosting, expanded learning on climate change topics (climate change science, policy & economics, eco-justice) led by resource guests who serve as learning journey guides
  • Design Groups: 3-5 person teams working on a single classroom, school or system-wide project
  • Pedagogical Scaffolding and Classroom Problem Solving: Guided learning and interactive discussions about teaching climate change in the classroom. Topics include combatting eco-anxiety, fostering hope, facilitating difficult dialogue, and moving students from learners to action-takers
  • Interactive Activities: Network-building sessions with climate change learning activities that can be adapted for classroom use

Why was The Collaborative created?

The Collaborative was envisioned as a response to the growing youth mental health crisis experienced as eco-anxiety, the expectation that the school system should be doing more to educate youth about climate change, and the lack of comprehensive professional development programming that takes a holistic view of the science, policy implications, and impacts of climate change experienced personally, within communities and globally.

  • More than 45% of young people in a survey of 10,000 youth age 10-17 across 10 countries said their feelings about climate change “negatively affected their daily life and functioning” [Imperial College London, 2021]
  • 93% of students in BC indicated they are concerned about the impacts of climate change [LSF, 2019 Survey]
  • Teachers in Canada do not feel adequately equipped to include climate change education in their classrooms due to “lack of classroom resources”, “lack of personal knowledge” and “lack of time” [LSF, 2019 Survey]
  • “Rather than being subsumed within sustainability education, the topic of climate change deserves its own space, as it can be considered difficult, as it can become emotionally charged.” [van Kessel, 2020]
  • “Through hope-infused conversations, educators could open up imaginations to dramatically different sets of future possibilities.” [Lawrence et al, 2022]

The Climate Change Collaborative was, without a doubt, the most inspiring and impactful professional development opportunities I have ever been offered. It combined all who attended with both the academic grounding and scientific knowledge of Climate Change (delivered in a safe and accessible way for teachers with differing understanding and knowledge of science), alongside outstanding pedagogical approaches that were practical and grounded in research. I am still speaking about it to anyone who will listen – genuinely a life changing conference. I cannot wait to bring all of my learning back into the classroom! I feel so empowered and hopeful about the future!. – Elizabeth Gregory – York House School

What are the Key Learning Outcomes?

Learning together with colleagues and resource guests, The Collaborative has been designed to achieve four key learning outcomes:

  1. Deepen understanding about the complexity and multi-dimensionality of climate change, its impacts on the world, including student mental health.
  2. Develop innovative pedagogical approaches focusing on hope and solution-making.
  3. Collaborate with motivated colleagues to create interdisciplinary lessons, larger co-curricular initiatives, or school-wide action plans.
  4. Become part of a professional learning community, actively focused on being part of the solution.

What / Who are Resource Guests / Learning Guides?

Resource Guests are climate change scholars, indigenous knowledge holders, innovators, or action leaders, and are fundamental to the success of our initiative. Resource Guests are the individuals who define and shape participants’ knowledge acquisition, spark topic curiosity, and stimulate highly interactive discussions to deepen climate change understanding: they are learning journey guides.

We have an amazing line-up of Resource Guests participating in this endeavour and express our sincere gratitude to all for sharing their knowledge and leading our collective learning journeys.

When / Where is The 2024 Collaborative?

Three in-person sessions will be held at Crofton House School in Vancouver, BC:

  1. In-Person – 2 days – February 15-16, 2024
  2. In-Person – 2.5 days – April 11-13, 2024
  3. In-person – 1 day – October 18, 2024

PLEASE NOTE: All participants accepted into “The Collaborative” must commit to participation for the entirety of the program

The Climate Change Collaborative is a fairly significant commitment in terms of time and energy but completely worth it. I was humbled by the decades of varied collective experience and knowledge of organizers, presenters, and colleagues alike, and The Collaborative itself was incredibly well-organized and meaningful. – Leona West – Meadowridge School

Who can participate?

The Collaborative is open to all BC teachers, staff, counsellors and administrators working in the public or independent school system.

We would love to receive applications from:

  • Teachers who are:
    • passionate about educating Grade 7-12 students
    • excited by developing a deeper understanding about climate change and climate action
    • willing to take risks in their own practice
    • interested in collaborating openly with others to create new ways of engaging students in the classroom
    • inspired to learn from a diverse group of specialized guests and fellow colleagues
    • looking for a way to teach climate change in a hopeful, action-inspiring way
  • School administrators, staff and counsellors who are:
    • committed to understand how to break down disciplinary silos for more enriched learning
    • keen to develop a school environment that has a hope-based approach to teaching climate change
    • concerned about the ways in which eco-anxiety is affecting the mental health of their students and are driven to support teachers to create a more positive, hopeful lens for students

What does it cost?

Thanks to the generous support of the ISABC and Crofton House School, there will be only a modest fee of $150 to participate in The Collaborative to cover the costs of food and program supplies. Applicants (or their schools) will be responsible for travel, accommodation and release time.

The Climate Change Collaborative was an incredible best professional development opportunity. I feel ready to work with students in my class as well as to work with my colleagues to create multidisciplinary units and school-wide initiatives. I felt empowered from this experience and appreciated how thoughtful the planning was for teachers.  It was time well spent. – Helen Erickson, Smithers Secondary School

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please direct them to Ms. Sue Roppel, President, Kimberley Foundation, at [email protected]   We thank you for your interest in The Collaborative.

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