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) Fast Track 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 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, please read the CETE Information Letter and Consent before proceeding with the study.

If you do not wish to be a participant, you may still join workshops.

Project timeline and events


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

Videos, Slides and Resources

The videos, slides and resources listed below began being offered in March 2023 as a 4-workshop series on climate change and climate education. We are now in our second year and offering revised workshops that build on and integrate into one another. These videos are for your reference.

Year Two- 2023 September - 2024 June

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


In the second year of the CETE project, a 4-workshop series on climate change education (dates below) will focus on curriculum development and application of climate change education strategies. The workshop dates are held on (or close to) professional development days. Workshops are public. If you are a participant in the study, please do not mention that you are a research participant to maintain anonymity. 

  • Workshop 1 - October 20, 2023 - 9:00-10:30 AM- Provincial Professional Development
Interpreting Climate Change: Engaging Through Pedagogy- see links above
  • Workshop 2 - November 24, 2023 -1:00-2:30 PM on Zoom- From aims to means: climate education and BC’s curriculum Download: WS#2 Front Loading Handout
  • Workshop 3 - January 29, 2024 - School PD Day
  • Workshop 4 - April 26, 2024 - Spring Fling

Post-workshop activities

  • Post-survey - Implemented 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

Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF): Climate Learning
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

Cottonwood ParkProject team

Principal Investigator


Research Assistant

Taryn Thiessen -

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