Teach the Teacher: Students and teachers join forces for climate education

published 27 September 2022 updated 29 September 2022

The student-led Teach the Teacher campaign continues with a new round of events around the world. The campaign is focused on educating teachers about climate change, climate justice, and equipping them with the resources and confidence they need to implement climate education in their classrooms.

One in four teachers needs more training to deliver education for sustainable development

A recent survey conducted by Education International and UNESCO among 58,000 teachers worldwide showed that 90% of teachers feel sustainable development and global citizenship are important topics and 80% of teachers want to continue learning about them. However, one in four teachers reported they need more support and training to teach these subjects.

The most common challenge faced by teachers in terms of skills was not being familiar with suitable pedagogies to teach sustainable development and global citizenship.

In terms of system level challenges, lack of curriculum coverage was identified as the most profound barrier. At the school level, the most frequently reported barrier was a lack of relevant equipment and tools. Teachers also suggested that students do not have sufficient voice on education for sustainable development and for global citizenship in schools, especially at primary level.

At the same time, students demand that climate education be included in curricula around the world.

"Climate change is the single biggest issue that will affect us today and in the future. As young people, we need to be taught about the crisis at hand, the solutions, and how we can make a difference. We deserve to learn about the issue that will define our future."

As part of its Teach for the Planet campaign, Education International has called for quality climate education for all and has put forward the teaching profession’s vision on what it would take to achieve it. Teacher training and support for the profession are essential to delivering quality climate education rooted in science and with a civic action focus.

Students step up: Teach the Teacher

Organised by MockCOP, the Teach the Teacher campaign aims to encourage students to talk to their teachers about climate change. Consisting in workshops led by students and attended by teachers, the campaign aims to explain what it is like to be a young person in the midst of the climate emergency, what climate anxiety is, and how exploring climate action can help students turn their fear into power.

"Teach the Teacher is a campaign with students from across the globe coming together as one and showing education systems what they want to learn. Students want to know about their present and their future. They want to see institutions care because this is the world you're passing down to them. They want hope," said Aishwarya Puttur, Teach the Teacher campaign activist.

Teach the Teacher sessions have been organized in 50 schools across 21 countries so far. Hundreds of teachers have attended these sessions and provided stellar feedback:

“You have done such an amazing job! I am so proud of what you are doing and how hope is embedded in your work. Thank you for being such powerful leaders! I am truly grateful!”

“You had a lot of visuals and giving us access to your scripts as well is a great asset for us to review what you said. So much information in so little time! Great job! Your passion for the subject is very clear in the way you presented the information.”

Get involved!

Sign up today to host a Teach the Teacher of your own! Campaign staff are available to train students on the best ways to lead the workshop. Find out more about Teach the Teacher from the campaign website.