Welcome to the course on teaching climate change within the South African CAPS curriculum for Life Orientation, specifically tailored for Senior and Further Education and Training (FET) school teachers. This course aims to equip teachers with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively integrate climate change education into the “Development of the Self in Society” topic.

By integrating climate change education into the “Development of the Self in Society” topic, teachers can provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of how their personal development is intertwined with local and global environmental issues. This course aims to empower teachers to facilitate these critical discussions, helping learners develop the competencies, values and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions that promote personal, social, intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Together, we can prepare learners to navigate their roles in society and contribute to a sustainable future.

Click below to open and read more about the Life Orientation CAPS for Senior and FET Phases.

Course Objectives

  1. Know Your Subject Knowledge:
    • Grasp the basics of climate change and its importance.
    • Link climate change to nutrition, learners’ health, self-concept, self-awareness, and strategies for climate resilience.
  2. Integrate Climate Change into Life Orientation:
    • Teach climate change within the CAPS “Development of the Self in Society” topic.
    • Use climate change to promote personal, social, and emotional health.
  3. Improve Your Teaching Practices:
    • Implement effective strategies to help learners understand and address climate change.
    • Equip learners with skills for adapting to and mitigating climate impacts.
    • Use real-world case stories to enhance lesson relevance.
  4. Improve Your Assessment Practices:
    • Develop methods to assess learners’ understanding of climate change.
    • Reflect on and refine your teaching practices for better outcomes.

By focusing on these objectives, you will enhance your subject knowledge, teaching practices, and assessment methods, effectively preparing learners to understand and tackle climate change

Understanding “self and society”

“Self in Society” is a critical component of the Life Orientation curriculum, focusing on the holistic development of students. This topic encourages students to understand their personal identity, roles, and responsibilities within the broader social context. It emphasises the development of skills that enable students to make informed decisions that positively impact their personal, social, intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

As students explore “Self in Society,” they learn to navigate the complexities of their environments, develop resilience, and contribute meaningfully to their communities. The topic fosters a sense of self-awareness and encourages students to consider their actions and their effects on both themselves and society.

Integrating Climate Change into the Life Orientation topic “Self in Society”

Climate change is a pressing global issue with profound implications for individuals and societies. Integrating climate change education into the “Self in Society” topic offers a unique opportunity to highlight the interconnectedness between personal choices and global environmental impacts.

Climate change directly affects personal health through increased air pollution, heat waves, and the spread of diseases. By understanding these connections, learners can make informed decisions to protect their health and advocate for sustainable practices in their schools and communities.

Learners learn about their roles and responsibilities in society, which includes being stewards of the environment. Climate change education encourages learners to engage in social action, promoting sustainability and advocating for policies that mitigate environmental impact. This fosters a sense of responsibility and empowers learners to contribute to societal well-being.

Exploring climate change in the context of “Self in Society” enhances intellectual development by encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving. Learners analyse the causes and effects of climate change, evaluate solutions, and develop innovative strategies to address environmental challenges. This intellectual engagement builds their capacity to make informed decisions and take responsible actions.

Understanding the impacts of climate change on physical environments and communities helps learners develop resilience. They learn how to adapt to changing conditions, manage stress related to environmental concerns, and support their emotional well-being. This holistic approach prepares learners to face future challenges with confidence and resilience.

Climate change raises ethical questions about human responsibility and the stewardship of the Earth. Integrating these discussions into the curriculum encourages students to reflect on their values and beliefs, fostering spiritual growth and ethical decision-making. Students explore how their actions align with their values and the greater good of society and the planet.

Please open this session’s forum, introduce yourself, and share why you are taking this course. Then,  tell us what role you think the Life Orientation classroom setting plays in preparing our learners and community to respond to climate change.