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 currently being funded by a Climate Change Education Accelerator Grant.  Prior funding has come from UNBC RSIG grants and Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Fast Track Grant. UNBC Research Ethics Board (REB) approved # 6009004.

Climate Education in Teacher Education (CETE) 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 in the research study?

  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 and would like to participate in the CETE study, please read the CETE Information Letter and Consent and take a moment to complete the Pre-Survey. The pre-survey takes approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.

If you do not wish to be a participant, you may still join the CETE workshops as an attendee.

Project timeline and events

CETE Workshop Series - Year 2 - September 2023 to June 2024

We are in the second year of the CETE project and the focus of workshop series in Year 2 is on curriculum development and application of climate change education strategies in K-12 education. Workshops are public and those who are interested are invited to attend.

Please note: if you are a participant in the study, please do not mention that you are a research participant to maintain anonymity. 

Upcoming Workshop Dates: 

Post-Workshop Series Activities

  • Post-survey - Implemented in the spring after the four [4] CETE Workshops
  • Focus group - Implemented after the Post-Survey 

Teacher Candidate Documentation

Artifacts developed by research participants during coursework or practicum relating to CETE are submitted by the participant and collected by the Research Team between during their participation in the CETE research project and teacher education program.

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.

Resources for Climate Change Education

CETE Workshop Series - Year One (Completed in March-May 2023)

  • Year 1 - Video 1 - Interpreting Climate Change - March 14, 2023 - Video Recording
  • Year 1 - Video 2 - Aims of Climate Education - April 4, 2023 - Video Recording
  • Year 1 - Video 3 - Pedagogy Planning for the Classroom - April 21, 2023 - Video Recording 
  • Year 1 - Video 4 - Evaluating Your Pedagogy - May 19, 2023 - Video Recording

Other Resources

Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF): Climate Learning

LSF Presentation for BC Teachers- March 2024- Empowering Youth for Climate Action

Resources for Rethinking ( - LSF's searchable database of over 400 peer reviewed, curriculum connected climate change classroom resources (lesson plans, videos, books, outdoor activities, games/apps)

Connecting the Dots: 7 interrelated learning strategies for environmental education, citizenship and sustainability


Project Drawdown

Our Canada Project

Sample Lesson Plans

The Living World- Ingenium Canada- Shared by Taryn Thiessen

Betsy Jardine Lessons from Cape Breton University sample_climate_change_ed_lesson_plans_betsy_jardine_cbu.pdf

 Whirling Swirling Air Pollution- Centre for Science Education- suggested by: Learning for a Sustainable Future

Is it too late to do anything? A BC Climate Change curriculum study- by Conan the Librarian shared by David Litz

Climate Change in the Visual Arts - Art Studio 10- shared by Alexander Lautensach - art10-ccelessonal.pdf

Cottonwood ParkProject team

Principal Investigator


Research Assistants

Contact information

For more information please email Dr. Hartley Banack at or call

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