There are three Geography courses on how to teach climate change that aims to expand teachers’ knowledge and expertise in ways that also support teaching the CAPS Geography curriculum for Grades 10-12. The courses focus on:
Resource use and change, and
Responses to energy exchanges and climate change.
These three courses provide teachers with a broad orientation to knowledge and teaching and assessment practice so that they can teach the specific requirements of what the CAPS curriculum requires from Grade 10 through to Grade 12. They provide Geography teachers with tools to enhance their teaching and their own learning and development about climate and climate change.
The first Climate Change course (Energy Exchange) focuses on the basic energy exchanges that drive the global climate system. The key question addressed by this course is: How is energy added to and withdrawn from the Earth System? The second course (Resource Use and Change) focuses on how energy is used and changed in the Earth System. The key questions addressed by this course are: How do various parts of the Earth System interact and use energy? What impacts may occur? The third course (Responses to energy exchanges and climate change) focuses on our responses to such changes in the overall Earth System. The key questions addressed by this course are: What can we do to make positive improvements to the energy system? How does the system, including humans, respond to changes in the system?
These courses have been developed to expand teachers’ knowledge and expertise in ways that also support teaching the CAPS Geography curriculum for Grades 10-12. These courses have been developed to support FET phase Geography teachers to meet the requirements for CAPS teaching about climate change. The courses cover core content knowledge taught in Grades 10-12, focusing on those sections dealing with climatology. The focus of these courses is on the Grade 10 curriculum, with a forward-looking approach to Grades 11 and 12.
The courses also support learning through both ‘knowing’ and ‘being’. This means that they are designed to strengthen knowledge about climate change and to encourage informed action in response to climate change. Because climate change is already affecting our lives today, it is important for learners to both understand what climate change is and to be able to take action to both reduce the causes of climate change and respond to the effects it has on our lives. These units aim to help teachers support learners to become informed, active agents of positive change in the world. In addition, these courses aim to support teachers to develop teaching and learning practices that view and explore climate change critically, and that will help to develop learners who are able to think more critically about the processes ‘driving’ the climate system.
In line with the CAPS, each of the three courses relevant to teaching climate change in FET Geography includes sessions that cover:
- Improve your subject knowledge,
- Improve teaching approach/strategies, and
- Improve your assessment practice.
- Assessment task