Welcome to the Fundisa for Change Natural Sciences Courses – Engaging with Climate Change

The three climate change courses in this Fundisa for Change resource, have been developed to expand teachers’ knowledge and expertise in ways that also support teaching the CAPS Natural Science curriculum for Grades 7-9. The sections do not necessarily follow the sequence of the CAPS. The most relevant connections to CAPS topics are indicated at the start of each unit with more details provided at the start of each activity.

The courses are:

  • The Evolving Planet
  • Earth Systems and Climate Change
  • Energy and Carbon Dioxide

The Climate Change units and their relationship to teaching the CAPS

The CAPS includes much content knowledge that is necessary to the understanding of climate change. Often the link between the topic and its application to climate change is not made explicit. For example, the topics of density and the effect of temperature on density as described in the particle model of matter in Grade 8, Term 2 provide the crucial content knowledge behind understanding the thermohaline circulation of the ocean, which in turn influences climate. Many of the activities in the units below then, play the role of connecting the science content knowledge to the topic of climate change.

Important readings

Below are  the supplementary published Fundisa for Change essential units we will draw upon during our courses.

About our Engaging with Climate Change Natural Sciences Courses

There are three Natural Sciences Engaging with climate change online courses which covers three Topics namely:  The Evolving Planet, Earth Systems and Climate Change and Energy and Carbon Dioxide.

Each course consist of an introductory text, main topic and then concludes with a course assignment. Each theme-based course aims to develop deep subject knowledge, with support for how to teach and assess the subject knowledge. The courses aim to foreground NS teaching and learning processes during climate change transition. The introductory section generally focuses on teaching and learning NS living situated in a world facing challenges of climate change. The text also focuses on the understanding and uptake of concepts of climate change.

There are three specific curriculum topics-based courses for including climate change in the NS curriculum that gives rise to climate change as a matter of concern in each course. You can click on the “Register for Course” to register for one of the three courses or click on any of the three courses to read a bit more about these courses.

These units have been developed to support Senior phase Natural Science teachers in meeting the requirements for CAPS while teaching about climate change. The units here cover several aspects of core content knowledge taught in Grades 7-9. Each unit begins with a list of the relevant CAPS topics covered. This book has focused mostly on the knowledge strands of Matter and Materials, Energy and Change and Planet Earth and Beyond.

As stated in the CAPS, the careful selection of content and the use of a variety of teaching approaches, should promote an understanding of:

  • Science as a discipline that sustains enjoyment and curiosity about the world and natural phenomena;
  • The need for using scientific knowledge responsibly in the interest of ourselves, of society and the environment; and
  • The practical and ethical consequences of decisions based on

In these three units, we support you as a teacher to:

  • Strengthen your subject content knowledge of climate change;
  • Enhance your teaching practice; and
  • Support your assessment

The different Senior Phase Natural Science Climate Change units in the Fundisa for Change programme integrate with each other to assist teachers to:

  • Understand climate as a large energy-driven system; and
  • Provoke critical thinking about the idea that people are part of the Earth System and can have positive and negative impacts on it.