Sharing Ideas and Inspiration

Friday, March 16, 2018

Research Symposium Keynote Speaker

Dr. Martha Monroe

Professor of Environmental Education,

University of Florida,

School of Forest Resources and Conservation


Climate Change Education: What Works?


A variety of resources are available to help educators design climate change units and lessons for their students. Which strategies are most effective may depend as much on the goal of the lessons as the ability of the students. Our recent systematic literature review identified 49 research papers that reported effective strategies for teaching about climate change. The resulting themes suggest that elementary through university students can increase climate science knowledge with relevant, meaningful, experiential exercises, collecting data, interacting with scientists, and engaging in community or classroom projects. But most environmental educators know this is good EE! Climate change is challenging because of the controversial and value-laden issues and misperceptions that swirl around it, and well as the uneven and distant impacts. Some of the research papers in our review used deliberative discussions to help students deeply understand the issues and question their own ideas and knowledge. In this way, climate change might help educators improve their practice with other issues as well. This presentation will briefly explain the review process and focus on the key themes that might help educators emphasize valuable and effective strategies in their climate change programs.

This presentation is part of the eeWORKS program of the North American Association for Environmental Education. The work reported funded by the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP), which is a Coordinated Agricultural Project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award # 2011-68002-30185.


Speaker Biography: 

Dr. Martha Monroe teaches courses in environmental education program development and conservation behavior at the University of Florida. She also is an Extension Specialist and works with extension agents and educators to develop programs that help people learn about their environment and consider how to best take care of it. Recently she was part of a regional team of forestry and climate specialists working to reduce the effects of climate change on forests, and use forests to reduce the impacts of climate change. That project enabled her to develop the instructional manual Southeastern Forests and Climate Change – a Project Learning Tree secondary module. Evaluations with teachers and students suggest the activities increase knowledge, hopefulness, and systems thinking skills for addressing climate challenges.