Teachers to join climate protests to demand curriculum reform

(The Guardian, 21 Feb 2019) On Friday demonstrators will protest against ‘negligent’ climate change education.

Teachers will follow on the heels of striking students on Friday with a protest to demand the national curriculum be reformed to make the climate and ecological crisis an educational priority.

The Extinction Rebellion group will support the demonstration outside the Department for Education, which organisers describe as a “peaceful nonviolent protest that may involve civil disobedience”.

It is intended as a show of solidarity for pupils who skipped classes last Friday to express their frustration at the failure of older generations to adequately address climate change. Organisers said more than 10,000 young people in at least 60 towns and cities in the UK joined the strike.

More would be likely to follow, they said, if the government did not live up to a Paris climate agreement promise to enhance climate change education. Instead, they say, there is currently no requirement for children to be taught about the climate crisis so it is treated, at best, as a peripheral subtopic of subjects like geography and science.

They are also unhappy that part of the curriculum appears to cast doubt on the evidence for man-made climate change, even though governments, the UN and the overwhelming majority of scientists accept that it is happening. Government guidelines for key stage 4 chemistry say pupils should be taught “evidence, and uncertainties in evidence, for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change”.

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The Guardian, 21 Feb 2019: Teachers to join climate protests to demand curriculum reform