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Title and acronym: Challenge-based Learning in Primary Schools for Climate Change Awareness [GRETA]

Project type: Erasmus+ KA2 Project, Strategic Partnership for School Education

Ref. no.: 2020-1-EL01-KA201-078808

 

Promoter /Coordinator: 1st Primary School of Rafina, Greece

Duration: 01/09/2020 to 31/08/2022

Total project grant: 204.265 Euro

Total expenditure (grant) for the University of Pitești: 19.531 Euro

Local coordinator for the University of Piteşti: Assoc. Professor Dr. Dumitru CHIRLEȘAN


Summary:

            According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), “by 2050, with a projected increased global population of 9.6 billion, we would need the equivalent of almost 3 planets worth of

resources to sustain our way of living, if our current consumption and production patterns remain the same.” In a speech at a university ceremony in 2015, then UN-General Secretary

Ban Ki-Moon stressed that “we are the first generation that can end poverty. We are also the last generation that can slow global warming before it is too late.” We know the statistics,

we have heard the warning signs, but so far, the face of the green revolution that is needed to tackle the climate crisis we are experiencing, is a young one.

            Across the globe, young climate activists are raising awareness about climate change, and exerting pressure on governments and businesses around the world to take action to save

the planet. Greta Thunberg, age 17, began learning about climate change when she was 8, and began her school strikes to raise awareness about climate change when she was 15 years old. Greta’s protests soon went viral on social media, and with the invention of the Fridays for Future hashtag, this movement saw 1.4 million young people, from 2,233 cities in 128 countries across the globe taking part in a Fridays for Future Global Protest on 15 March 2019. In September 2019, the Global Week for Future saw over 4,500 strikes planned in 150 countries world-wide. This shows the power and influence that young people can have on raising awareness about climate change if they are educated about the issues and impassioned to make a difference. This example shows us that in today’s social media environment, where young digital natives thrive, individuals who never traditionally had a platform to reach multi-national corporations to change their behaviours or to influence policy, now have that platform.

            When we look at these young people, they may be the policymakers of tomorrow, but they can be the policy-influencers of today, even at a young age. The challenge for educators is to support young people to identify and reform their message, and to find their voice in the fight against climate change. The GRETA project will support primary school teachers to take on this challenge, by providing bespoke up-skilling opportunities to allow them to integrate innovative learning resources into their teaching practice and to develop their own challenge-based learning resources to raise awareness among young pupils about the climate crisis and the impact it will have on them.

            Household consumption contributes to 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that household behaviour is therefore is an essential component in climate policies,

especially in high income countries such as those in Europe (Dubois et al, 2019). As such, it is important that households and parents are educated on climate issues so that they can reduce their household consumption, make behavioural changes and help to reduce global carbon emissions. It is for this reason that the GRETA project will develop a ‘whole-school’ programme for primary schools to empower pupils, teachers, school leaders and parents to take the climate change challenge and to change their habits and behaviours for the sake of the planet.

 

Objectives:

The GRETA project aims to support school teachers and pupils to raise awareness of climate issues in their school communities, but also to take action; to identify what habits and behaviours they can change, and to assess the impact that these changes will have on their local, and the global, environment. Through the development of a suite of 42 WebQuest resources, teachers and pupils will be supported to increase their knowledge of climate issues, and to identify changes that they can make that will have a direct and positive impact on the environment.

The GRETA project will also support primary school teachers, school leaders and parents to take responsibility and raise their awareness of climate change through targeted educational materials.

 

Outcomes:

IO1 - Compendium of Climate Change Challenge WebQuests for Pupils

IO2 - Continuing Professional Development Training Programme for Primary School Teachers and Leaders

IO3 - Digital Resources to Increase Climate Literacy for Parents

 

Partnership:

  1. 1st Primary School of Rafina (coordinator), Greece
  2. Istituto Comprensivo Don L. Milani, Italy
  3. Spectrum Research Centre CLG, Ireland
  4. Aklub Centrum Vzdelavani A Poradenstvi, Czech Republic
  5. Hauptstadftallee 239 V V UG (Skills Elevation FHB), Germany
  6. Centre for Advancement of Research and Development In Educational Technology Ltd - CARDET, Cyprus
  7. Universitatea din Pitești, Romania
 

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