IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE academic chairs climate education policy briefing event at Education World Forum

27 May 2022

Building on discussions that also took place at COP26, the event explored the importance of addressing climate change in and through matters of education.

Students and a teacher look over maps and flags spread on a table in a school library. (Image: Rawpixel.com / Adobe Stock)

Professor Nicola Walshe, Head of IOE’s Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, and Executive Director of the UCL Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education, led a panel discussion at the 2022 Education World Forum (EWF) on Thursday 25 May. The event created the opportunity to share learning from individual climate education initiatives, as well as highlighting the impact of climate shocks on education in Global South countries, and strengthening international co-operation towards improving climate education at a global scale.

Regarded as the world’s largest gathering of education and skills ministers, Professor Walshe was joined by leaders from the UK Department for Education (DfE), the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), the Embassy of Vietnam, and Asian Development Bank.

Professor Walshe facilitated discussion among the panel about how commitments made at COP26 were progressing, the role climate education plays in informing wider pedagogy debates and the challenge of delivering basic educational needs within countries experiencing the impact of climate change. The panel also considered expectations for COP27 taking place in Egypt later in 2022, as well as exploring how forums such as EWF and COP can be used to support the progress of climate education more broadly.

Reflecting upon the event, Professor Walshe said: “It was an honour to be able to moderate this Climate Education Policy Briefing event following the Education World Forum. It is absolutely vital that as a global community we take the momentum gathered at the COP26 Joint Education and Environment Ministers’ summit to continue our work to ensuring we empower children and young people with the knowledge, skills and agency to understand climate change and take positive action. The event provided an opportunity for sharing learning from different global contexts around climate change education, as well as providing a forum for exploring how we might develop these – both individually and collectively – as we look towards COP27.  

“It was of note that there was recognition by the panel of the importance of better supporting schools and teachers to deliver climate change education to children and young people; this is particularly the case in a context in which many feel underprepared to teach it, unsure of where to access appropriate support, and concerned as to how to go about talking to young people without negatively impacting their mental health and wellbeing.

“Within the UCL Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education, we very much look forward to further contributing to this discussion as part of our work to support teachers of all subjects and all phases to prepare children and young people to understand and adapt to issues of climate change and sustainability.”

The event was co-hosted by the UK DfE, the FCDO and the British Council.



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