PULCHRA School Workshop (Cities and Climate Change, new challenges for education at the school level), Athens, November 7th, 2022
Maria Dimopoulou has been working as an Education Advisor in the Greek educational system for many years. Her work consists of advising and supporting teachers to implement environmental programs with their classes. Maria presented an insightful and holistic presentation on the topic of climate action education through a whole school approach at the PULCHRA school workshop in Athens last month.
Maria stresses the importance of a ‘whole school approach‘ to climate action. In a whole school approach, ‘students’ classroom learning is reinforced by the formal and informal messages promoted by the school’s values and actions’. Student ‘live what they learn and learn what they live’.
Maria encourages teachers to focus on critical, creative and futures thinking skills as they deliver lessons as these skills will be most important in the face of a changing climate.
Maria highlights the importance of the concept of ‘practice what you preach’ at schools by being a model of sustainability and climate action. Of course, teacher training will be needed to make these changes. Schools could ask themselves, ‘Is sustainability visible at our school’
Schools were also encouraged to take students out of the classroom, to visit important support services such as wastewater treatment plants, farms, and recycling facilities. Students who participate in PULCHRA develop scientific skills by engaging in hands-on environmental activities at their schools.
Students should be empowered to take action on sustainability challenges, perhaps by inspiring others to take action through school and community events or engaging experts on exploring the science behind sustainability as demonstrated in the PULCHRA project. You can watch Maria’s full presentation here: PULCHRA 3rd workshop video