Climate Change

Heat. Fires. Floods. Learn how climate change affects school infrastructure and curriculum, and how students and schools are responding


The Climate Crisis and Schools
Schools are already suffering the effects of climate change. EdWeek explores the challenges and solutions in this ongoing series.
Global warming illustration, environment pollution, global warming heating impact concept. Change climate concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management From Our Research Center Nearly Half of Educators Say Climate Change Is Affecting Their Schools—or Will Soon
Most educators said their school districts have not taken any action to prepare for more severe weather, a new survey finds.
Arianna Prothero, May 23, 2022
6 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP
School & District Management What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
Mark Lieberman, May 18, 2022
7 min read
Composite image of school building and climate change protestors.
Illustration by F. Sheehan/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty and E+)
School & District Management 'It Has to Be a Priority': Why Schools Can't Ignore the Climate Crisis
Schools have a part to play in combating climate change, but they don't always know how.
Mark Lieberman, May 18, 2022
16 min read
Conceptual illustration of hand reaching into an atom and picking the planet earth
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Frances Coch/iStock
Science Finding Hope in the Face of Climate Change: Why Some Teachers Focus on Solutions
Learning about climate change can make students feel anxious or hopeless. A solution-focused teaching approach gives them a reason for hope.
Sarah Schwartz, November 23, 2021
11 min read
Linda Rost, a finalist for the 2020 National Teacher of the Year and a high school science teacher, teaches at Baker High School in Baker, Mont. on Nov. 3, 2021.
Linda Rost teaches a science class at Baker High School in Baker, Mont., earlier this month. She has received some pushback for teaching about COVID-19.
Leslie Bohle for Education Week
Science 5 Ways to Teach Climate Change and COVID-19 During Polarized Times
Rampant misinformation and politics have made science teachers' jobs harder. Teachers share five strategies to teach sensitive topics.
Madeline Will, November 23, 2021
9 min read
climate change schools 1201097825 02
Laura Baker/Education Week and iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion Schools Can't Hide From Climate Change. They Must Be Part of the Solution
We can harness the same resilience that public education brought to the pandemic to face the climate crisis, write two district leaders.
Debra Duardo & Pedro Martinez, November 2, 2021
4 min read
Burned playground equipment stands in front of a flattened structure at Walt Tyler Elementary School after the school was destroyed by the Caldor Fire on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in the in the Grizzly Flats community of El Dorado County, Calif. Winds spawned by the arrival of a new weather system Monday afternoon pushed the monstrous Dixie Fire to within about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) of Susanville, population about 18,000, while to the southeast a small blaze called the Caldor Fire exploded through through Grizzly Flats, a town of about 1,200.
Walt Tyler Elementary School in El Dorado County, Calif., was destroyed by wildfire this August.
Sara Nevis/The Sacramento Bee via AP
Student Well-Being Opinion Climate Change Is an Education Emergency
Extreme weather events and rising temperatures take a toll on students that cannot be ignored even during a pandemic, writes Adam Brumer.
Adam Brumer, September 28, 2021
5 min read
Student Well-Being Teenagers See Climate Change as a Threat, But Aren't as Clear on Its Causes
Sixty-two percent of teenagers correctly identified driving cars and trucks as a major contributor to climate change, while 57 percent incorrectly cited plastic bottles and bags, according to a survey by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Arianna Prothero, December 20, 2019
2 min read
Stephanie Shafer for Education Week
Science Opinion Dry Facts, Debate, Despair: How Not to Teach Climate Change
Young people across the globe are demanding action, but many teachers remain unsure of how to address climate change in the classroom, writes Ann Reid.
Ann Reid, September 23, 2019
5 min read
Susan Walsh/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion Why Climate Change Made Me Quit Teaching
Students shouldn't have to leave school to get serious about climate change, writes Eben Bein. We have the power to change that.
Eben Bein, September 19, 2019
3 min read
Social Studies Students Swarm the Capitol Grounds to Protest Climate Change
Hundreds of students protested by the U.S. Capitol as part of an international movement to demand policies to curb climate change.
Stephen Sawchuk, March 15, 2019
5 min read
School & District Management What Climate Change Might Mean for Test Scores
Climate researchers estimate the average temperature across the United States to warm by 5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, and a forthcoming study suggests more frequent and severe hot spells could chip away at student learning over time.
Sarah D. Sparks, March 14, 2019
3 min read
Social Studies Meet the Youth Climate Activists Who Are Leading School Strikes
Here's what you need to know about this Friday's Youth Climate Strike, and how it fits into the larger context of student activism.
Stephen Sawchuk, March 12, 2019
9 min read
Science News in Brief Science Teachers' Group Comes Out Strong on Teaching Climate Change
The major group representing science educators is making this point crystal clear: The scientific consensus for climate change caused by human activity is overwhelming, and the topic must be taught in K-12 classrooms.
Stephen Sawchuk, September 18, 2018
1 min read