Schools in New Zealand to teach students about climate crisis, activism and “eco anxiety”

Schools in New Zealand will teach students about climate crisis, activism and “eco anxiety”.

The New Zealand scheme, which will be offered to 11-15 year-old students, will not be compulsory, the government said.

The new Ministry of Education resource includes eight lessons on topics such as understanding the difference between climate and weather, how climate change could affect New Zealand, and New Zealand’s current commitments to tackling the issue.

Students who choose to take the course will learn about understanding their feelings about climate change and how it will have “direct and indirect impacts on psychological wellbeing”.

Teachers are also provided a “wellbeing guide” to “help them navigate the delivery of climate change scientific content, whilst maintaining the wellbeing/hauora of students”.

Students are taught how to psychologically adapt to climate change in three steps – understanding and knowledge leading to acknowledgement and acceptance of the issue, coping strategies to manage the feelings and thoughts, and active engagement and action by changing and adjusting behaviours in order to reduce climate change impacts.

The curriculum also helps students create and carry out an action plan on a particular environmental issue – such as creating an edible garden.

The scheme follows a successful pilot program that ran in a school in Christchurch, a city in New Zealand, in 2018.

Last year, Italy announced that it would become the first country in the world to make climate change a compulsory part of the school curriculum, as of 2020.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

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