This project was designed to fill a gap in the Nova Scotia formal curriculum related to climate change, specifically climate adaptation, by designing learning materials that employ local data and testing it using student art. It was funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment (NSDE) Climate Adaptation Fund (PI), with the Nova Scotia Department of Education was a key partner. We developed three seven-lesson interdisciplinary teaching modules for Grades 4, 7 and 10, that leveraged specific learning outcomes across the Nova Scotia curriculum. We trialled the Grade 4 module with classes at two schools in Southwest Nova Scotia in the winter of 2012. Lessons 1 and 7 involved watercolour art exercises about climate impacts and adaptation. We analyzed the images and descriptions the students produced before and after the substantive content was delivered (Baker et al. 2013).

Works cited

Baker, J., Loxton, J. and Sherren, K. 2013. Using art-elicitation to deliver and evaluate a Grade 4 climate change instructional module. Applied Environmental Education and Communication. Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 130-42.

Research trainees

This work supported Masters of Resource and Environmental Management (MREM) candidate Jillian Baker, a former primary school teacher, to design the curricula as her final term project and carry out the trials as a research assistant following her graduation. The year after her work with me, Jillian and the co-author on that paper, Jason Loxton, submitted a successful application to the Climate Change Adaptation Fund to extend the work. She and Loxton used questionnaires with pre- and in-service teachers in Nova Scotia to glean their knowledge and attitudes about climate change and assess educator readiness and needs, summarized in this information sheet and teaching companion document.