Like Italy before it, New Zealand plans to introduce sweeping curriculum changes to introduce climate change, activism and “eco-anxiety” into schools. According to the Guardian, the changes to the system will make the nation the leading proponent of climate change education.
Each school will have materials on the climate crisis, ways for students to plan activism and discussions on feelings around eco-anxiety. It will be focused on students aged 11-15. Resouces on climate science will be directly from the country’s science agencies. Students will learn how to take action on environmental issues, including making an edible garden. They will also learn how their feelings can be used for action and to alter negative self-talk.
James Shaw, New Zealand’s climate change minister told the Guardian of the new system, “One of the pieces of feedback we’ve got from teachers around the country is that they’re really crying out for something like this, because kids are already in the conversation about climate change. They’re seeing stuff on social media on a daily basis and none of it’s good news, and the sense of powerlessness that comes from that is extremely distressing.”
The curriculum includes text, video and help for teachers, according to Chris Hipkins, the education minister. He added, “It explains the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response to it and its impacts – globally, nationally and locally – and explores opportunities to contribute to reducing and adapting to it impact on everyday life.”
The United Nation recently released a report warning countries about the dangers of climate change. They also urged people to reduce their dairy and meat intake by opting for more plant-based foods as one way to take climate action. We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App –– with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
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