Climate Education in Teacher Education

West Lake Provincial Park

Implementation of Climate Education by UNBC Teacher Candidates: From Theory to Practice

Project description

The world’s climate is changing, affecting numerous aspects of our environment.  Moreover, Canada's northern regions are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Research on school education in northern British Columbia (B.C.) has yet to comprehensively consider how teachers approach learning about climate change or even address this complex issue in their practice. A unique demographic of teachers are teacher candidates, pre-service teachers preparing to be certified B.C. teachers. This project aims to explore attitudes and ways of knowing/understanding climate change from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) Teacher Candidates, and then engage and expose UNBC Teacher Candidates to Canadian climate education resources.  Specifically, the research question asked in this study is: How are climate education strategies, developed across Canada to support novice teachers teaching climate education to their students, being implemented into practice by UNBC pre-service teachers in northern B.C.?  Using an Educational Design-Based Research methodology (Collins, 1992), the project will follow UNBC Teacher Candidates through their first year of teacher education program and then into their early years of practice.  The project is focused on northern B.C. school districts and teachers.  Key partners include: Institute for Environmental Learning (IEL) and Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF), each a key stakeholder in developing climate education resources for Canadian teachers. 

The study is being funded by a UNBC Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Community Connections Seed Grant, and is Research Ethics Board (REB) approved.

Research question

How are climate education strategies, developed across Canada to support novice teachers teaching climate education to their students, being implemented into practice by UNBC pre-service teachers (Teacher Candidates) in northern B.C.?

Who can participate?

  1. Are you a teacher candidate in the UNBC Teacher Education Program?
  2. Are you interested in or concerned about climate education?
  3. Are you willing to engage in several activities to learn more about climate education and contribute to the professional development of others?

If you've answered "yes" to all three questions, please read the CETE Consent and Letter of Introduction before proceeding with the study.

Project timeline and events


After reading the CETE Consent and Letter of Introduction and you would like to participate, complete the Pre-Survey. It takes approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.


Workshops are delivered as in-person session and online access via Zoom. They are hybrid sessions. Workshops are scaffolded to support participants and designed as professional development events that are open to currently practicing teachers and teacher candidates. As workshops are public, we ask you not to mention that you are a research participant, in order to keep anonymity.

Workshop 4 - Evaluating Your Pedagogy

Post-workshop activities

  • Post-survey #1 - Implemented after the 4 CETE Workshops
  • Focus group - Implemented after Post-Survey #1
  • Post-survey #2 - Implemented after the Focus Group

Teacher Candidate Documentation

Artifacts developed by participants during coursework or practicum relating to CETE are submitted by the participant and collected by the Research Team between February 2023 to November 2023. This key work may include: blog posts, portfolio pages, inquiry projects, conference presentations, reflective journals, lesson plans, unit plans, assignments, group presentations, field trips, workshop facilitation, or participation in professional development.

Cottonwood ParkProject team

Principal Investigator


Research Assistant

  • Sophia Graham

Contact information

For more information please email Dr. Hartley Banack at or call 250-960-5317. 

If you have any concerns or complaints about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, call the Office of Research and Innovation at 250-960-6735 or email