A proactive, inclusive plan for the cross-disciplinary teaching of climate change from preschool to high school.
In Teach for Climate Justice, accomplished educator and social and emotional learning expert Tom Roderick proposes a visionary interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to PreK–12 climate education. He argues that meaningful instruction on this urgent issue of our time must focus on climate justice—the convergence of climate change and social justice—in a way that is emotionally safe, developmentally appropriate, and ultimately empowering.
Drawing on examples of real-life educators teaching climate change, Roderick identifies eight key dimensions of climate education that will prepare students to face the challenges of the climate crisis and give them the means to take action. These dimensions include not only educating for a deep understanding of the scientific, geopolitical, and socioeconomic equity issues that surround global warming, but also cultivating appreciation for the environment, building a supportive community, and fostering active hope for the future. Roderick's intentional layering of skills will help students develop the knowledge and sense of agency necessary to engage in civil resistance and nonviolent activism. In support of this crucial endeavor, Roderick suggests evidence-based teaching strategies, practices that promote inclusivity, and tools for social and emotional learning.
This timely and uplifting book lays out a powerful vision for teaching, learning, and curriculum development to nurture a generation of courageous, informed advocates for climate justice.
Tom Roderick is a teacher, writer, and education activist in New York City. He retired in 2019 after 36 years as founding executive director of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility.
“Teach for Climate Justice is a powerful ‘how to’ guide for environmental education. It is full of practical advice on how to teach students about the urgency of our climate crisis and what they can do to address it, with many illustrative vignettes of the best work in our classrooms and schools. It will be a vital resource for educators working in this critical area.” —Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers
“Tom Roderick has written a timely and invaluable new book on the most important issue of our time—climate justice. Aimed at educators, he makes it clear that despite the numerous other expectations and responsibilities that have been foisted upon schools, this is a subject that cannot be ignored. Written in a clear and compelling manner, Teach for Climate Justice is a call to action supported by strategies that show us how to take on this important work.” —Pedro Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California
“This is not a book that tries to scare us into caring about the climate emergency. Tom Roderick shows how the most effective way to teach for climate justice is to turn schools into sites of joy and justice. The book weaves an urgent analysis of the causes and impact of our climate crisis with inspiring classroom stories of teachers who seek to make a difference. Teach for Climate Justice is a festival of wisdom, imagination—and hope.” —Bill Bigelow, curriculum editor, Rethinking Schools and codirector, Zinn Education Project
“A viable future depends on young people being more informed as to the root causes of climate change and knowing how to take action. Tom Roderick's Teach for Climate Justice makes the case for why climate education should be central in our curriculum and is filled with informative and inspirational stories of teachers who provide clear examples of how to teach for climate justice. These teachers offer a road map of how to be honest without leaving young people in despair. This is an invaluable book which will hopefully lead to teachers adding many more stories of their own.” —Deborah Menkart, executive director, Teaching for Change