Essay by Eric Worrall
Full quote: “I tend to be very gentle and very careful or I’m very focused on hope.”
‘I tend to be very gentle’: how teachers are navigating climate change in the classroom
Published: August 30, 2023 6.12am AEST
Kim Beasy Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of Tasmania
Chloe Lucas Lecturer and Research Fellow, School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences, University of Tasmania
Gretta Pecl Professor, ARC Future Fellow & Director of the Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania
Climate change education is increasingly seen as an essential part of schooling.
The main international test of 15-year-olds’ progress (which Australia participates in) has just announced the next round of testing will include environmental knowledge alongside English, maths and science literacy.
Australia’s national curriculum (updated last year under the Morrison government) barely mentions climate change. But as a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement, we have committed to develop climate change education policies.
Regardless of what policies or curricula say, our climate is changing. As scientists keep reminding us, urgent action is required.
In our new research, we interviewed nine primary and high school teachers about how they include climate change in their teaching.
We found teachers are becoming the bearers of bad news in the classroom as young people learn about the climate crisis, and they need better training and more support.
I tend to be very gentle and very careful or I’m very focused on hope.
Read More: https://theconversation.com/i-tend-to-be-very-gentle-how-teachers-are-navigating-climate-change-in-the-classroom-212370
If there’s one thing which truly upsets me about climate activists, it’s the way they try to indoctrinate kids with their point of view, to “prepare” the next generation for climate change.
Adults have the life experience to reject their politicised climate nonsense, or least be wary of their evidence free claims of climate doom. But climate doom packaged up as education is being inflicted on defenceless kids, who are at a stage in life where they are less skeptical about “information” provided by authority figures.
I also feel sorry for teachers trapped in this web of climate deceit, who are being forced to teach politicised scientific viewpoints they don’t support. Teachers in this situation have an impossible choice, if they stay they can try to minimise the harm, but still have to mislead their students to hang on to their jobs, but if they leave, they might be replaced by a climate fanatic.
There is evidence that such “climate” lessons are doing real harm;
In 2019, Dr. Alex Wodak, a high profile Australian expert on drug rehabilitation, named fear of climate change as one of the major problems driving young people into the kind of despair which leads to addiction to hard drugs, during his testimony to the NSW Government Ice Inquiry.
An excerpt of the transcript is below;
First, the threshold step is redefining drugs as primarily a health and social issue rather than primarily a law enforcement issue. Second, drug treatment has to be expanded and improved until it reaches the same level as other health services. Third, all penalties for personal drug use and possession have to be scrapped.
Fourth, as much of the drug market as possible has to be regulated while recognising that part of the drug market is already regulated, such a methadone treatment, needle and syringe programs, medically supervised injecting centres. It will, of course, never be possible to regulate the entire drug market. We have regulated parts of the drug market before. Edible opium was taxed and regulated in Australia until 1906 and in the United States Coca-Cola contained cocaine until 1903.
Fifth, efforts to reduce the demand for powerful psychoactive drugs in Australia have had limited benefit and require a new focus. Unless and until young Australians feel optimistic about their future, demand for drugs will remain strong. Young people, understandably, want more certainty about their future prospects, including climate, education, jobs and housing affordability. Change will be slow and incremental, like all social policy reform.
As Herb Stein, as adviser to President Nixon said:
Things that cannot go on forever don’t.
Drug prohibition cannot go on forever and will be replaced by libertarian paternalism. Thank you.
Source: https://www.iceinquiry.nsw.gov.au//assets/scii/transcripts/Decriminalisation-round-table/Decriminalisation-Roundtable-Transcript.pdf (available on Wayback Machine)
What can parents do about this?
If your child starts becoming distressed by climate lessons at school, you have to try something. If your child swallows the message of despair, and becomes convinced there is no hope, there is a real risk they will turn to hard drugs or other self destructive or high risk behaviour. You have to intervene before this happens.
Other than voting for different politicians, which I hope you are already doing, some pushback is possible.
The lessons cannot be eliminated from the curriculum of most jurisdictions except at the ballot box, but how they are taught can be modified. Even the most climate enthusiast teacher is sensitive to being accused of doing harm and causing distress, and likely actually cares about the kids – many of them, even the real climate enthusiasts, genuinely believe they are helping by providing necessary knowledge to prepare kids for the future. So if your kids become distressed, there is room to demand more sensitive handling of the subject matter.
Of course, the best intervention is to keep talking to your kids. So long as you have a good relationship with your kids, you are the ultimate authority figure in their lives, at least until they grow up, and can do a lot to mitigate any damage done by other authority figures.
We can’t strip the indoctrination from the curriculum until voters wake up and toss the fanatics out of office, but we can, through talking to our kids, do our best to mitigate the harm and shield our kids from green agents of despair.