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Half of teachers 'want students to take part in climate change civil disobedience'
23 June 2021, 14:10
More than half of teachers want children to participate in civil disobedience for climate change, a survey has shown.
Results revealed that 54 per cent of teachers believed students should get involved in direct action against climate change while in secondary school.
That said, teachers also believed almost unanimously that an action-focused climate change curriculum should be incorporated across subjects from even younger, beginning with conservation projects in early primary school.
Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) said they were already teaching their students about climate change.
The research - led by the University of Bristol and published in the journal Environmental Education Research - involved asking 626 primary and secondary school teachers across England for their views on climate change education.
Professor Paul Howard-Jones, lead author of the work, said: "Teachers want their students to be informed in how they think and what they do about the climate emergency.
"They are ready and willing to move forward with radical, action-oriented programmes of education that can help students drive our response to climate change."
Professor Howard-Jones added: "Despite being under-represented in the National Curriculum, climate change is something many young people feel passionate about.
"School children have been inspired by Greta Thunberg, who has demonstrated the importance of peaceful protest to raise awareness of the climate crisis and spur individual as well as large-scale change.
"They have also seen the tactics of groups like Extinction Rebellion and many have become activists already.
"Our research indicates that teachers are prepared to support their activism through an action-oriented approach to Climate Change Education.
"With COP26 being hosted in the UK in November, there has never been a better time to reflect on how we're preparing young people for the defining issue of today."