70% of teachers feel that they have not received sufficient training on teaching climate change, despite the fact that the vast majority of students want to learn more about it. This is why we are so excited to be launching Teach the Teacher this week, a campaign to embed effective and well-integrated climate education into schools. By providing training, resources and support for young people, our campaign empowers them to deliver climate education training sessions to their own teachers. We believe that, in the absence of compulsory climate education, students should be at the forefront of the campaign for change. Teach the Teacher is student-led – created by students, and run by five student staff across the UK.
Teach the Teacher was born out of a Teach the Future student volunteer’s frustration at their chemistry teacher, who was a climate change denier. They wanted to engage their teacher on climate change, and so TtT was created in 2021. It was then piloted across 17 different secondary schools in the UK, with over 50 young people running our climate education training. Additionally, we ran a session for education ministers in partnership with the Department for Education at COP26.
The sessions were proven to be highly effective, with 68% of teachers who took part saying they would make changes to what they teach as a result of engaging with the sessions. Our sessions cover the science of climate change, climate justice, climate anxiety, and how to effectively deliver climate education. Student volunteers are supported throughout, and teachers who take part are offered resources on how to practically embed climate education into their lessons after attending a TtT session.
For the next three years, we hope to deliver TtT sessions to 200 schools per year across the whole of the UK, as part of the wider Green Schools Revolution. Not only will this engage teachers with the topic of climate change, and improve the climate education delivered at those schools, but it will also provide young climate activists with valuable training and the platform to educate their teachers. In our first few weeks, we will be reaching out to schools and our existing networks to let students know how to sign up, and then we will begin training sessions for our student volunteers.
At the heart of TtT are the student volunteers who will deliver Teach the Teacher sessions in their schools. If you, or any secondary school students you know, are interested, please find out more on our website. And if you would like to bring Teach the Teacher to your school, you can now register your interest here! We look forward to meeting all our student volunteers and kickstarting the campaign over the coming months!