CSP in the Classroom
A short video introducing a Climate Stories Project education workshop at Common Ground School in New Haven, CT.
Paul Smith's College Environmental Studies Professor Bethany Garretson speaks about Adirondack Climate Stories, for which her students interviewed community members in the Adirondacks and created a short documentary film using the interviews.
Though students today hear about climate change everywhere—on the news, in feature films, in school textbooks—most do not have an opportunity to have conversations about climate change outside of their classrooms. Furthermore, many students associate climate change either with dense scientific reports or partisan-charged political debates, and, unsurprisingly, don’t want to engage with it at all. Thus, it can be difficult for students to see the connection between this abstract, contentious issue and their day-to-day activities, attitudes, and experiences. Yet talking about climate change and connecting it to everyday life are critical first steps in collectively working towards building a more just and sustainable world.
Climate Stories Project provides students and teachers with a framework to take these steps and harness the power of storytelling to engage with climate change.
Specifically, students and teachers can use CSP:
- To discover how climate change has been impacting their own communities and communities around the world
- To have meaningful conversations about these impacts
- To put human faces to the abstractness of climate change
- To connect what they are already learning about in their classrooms with the stories of people out in the world.
The central goal of CSP is to get students talking and listening—to each other, to members of their own communities, and to other students around the world who are on the frontlines of climate change. CSP is an active, collaborative, student-centered, and transformational framework for teaching climate change.
How it works:
CSP has been incorporated successfully in both secondary and higher education classrooms where students work individually or together to learn about local impacts of climate change, to interview and record the climate stories of people in their communities, and to conduct interviews over Skype or phone with other groups of students from around the world. Students then work together to edit these interviews and to contribute them to the CSP archive of climate stories. Additionally, students can use recorded interviews to create and and share projects such as podcasts, documentary film, or art projects.
Climate Stories Project is easily adaptable to many existing climate change or environmentally related curricula, course goals, and learning outcomes. Here are some of the specific learning outcomes that we have identified after incorporating CSP into our own classes. After participating in the Climate Stories Project, students will be able to:
- Explain how climate change is currently impacting their own communities as well as other communities around the world.
- Practice interview and audio editing skills.
- Design and create their own projects or presentations to share stories of climate change with wider audiences.
- Identify the various emotions that people feel in connection with climate change (hope, despair, sadness, etc).
- Evaluate the benefits of using personal stories for climate change communication and understanding.
- Reflect on their own relationship to climate change and consider steps that they can take in their own lives to address climate change.
If you are a teacher or student interested in Climate Stories Project, please email email@example.com for more information.
We'd love to help you incorporate CSP into your own classrooms and curricula.
Students in Shishmaref, Alaska speak with elders about climate change.