Creating innovative education tools for Native and rural communities on the Colorado Plateau
The central and transformative theme of the Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) is that effective education about climate change integrates science with civic engagement and regionally relevant, culturally appropriate solutions. CCEP encompasses three strategic initiatives:
- Formal science education for secondary school students and in-service teachers
- Residential programs, where high school students recruited from multiple tribes will integrate classroom science with field experiments and civic science projects
- Informal science education, through an exhibit at the Museum of Northern Arizona and a youth-focused video
Our underlying approach is consistent across initiatives. It includes five components: climate science foundations, culturally relevant materials, regionally relevant materials, examples of solutions and responses, and the use of myths and misconceptions as learning opportunities.
Phase 1 activities entailed piloting a two-week high school curriculum with 10 teachers in reservation and rural schools. Results indicate that our pedagogical principals are effective and viable, with measurable increases in student comprehension and attitudes.
In Phase 2, we will revise this curriculum and develop a complementary middle school unit. We are partnering with residential programs for Native students to supplement classroom learning with experiential activities. We will also develop a museum exhibit and documentary incorporating the same modalities as the formal science and residence programs.