Like most groups of educators, our beginnings are both varied, yet similar. We come from different parts of Canada, but none of us are truly from here. We want to empower, learn from, and work with youth, but have felt a dissonance between our lived reality and the current system. We all joined a program at UBC to try and better our capacities to make a difference, and to truly let loose the power of students’ minds and desires.
The program itself was unique: a graduate level program for educators that worked in tandem with the local municipality. UBC and the City of Vancouver, bridging our curricular outcomes with the needs of the city. It was an exciting framework to be working within, presented as a much more practical, on-the-ground approach to research and design.
We began by diving into theories of change, looking at the world as a complex interconnection of systems. Tediously, the program, the readings, and the conversations helped make clear the importance of seeing all things as connected, and all things as systems. Each with their own fulcrums for leverage, and areas of strength, weakness and influence. And all of them, together have led us to where we are. The technological revolution. The age of the internet. The resurgence of Black Lives Matter. The brink of climate collapse.
So we came to the realization, arguably not for the first time, that our education system needs to be tackling things that are happening now. It needs to be pivoting faster, and teaching skills and empowering voices and ideas that aim to be current and empathetic and just. It needs to be talking about systems, and how we can twist these levers of influence.
But we needed to try and do all this during a global pandemic.
The idea of a podcast felt both serendipitous and simple. But we stuck with it and got positive feedback from prospective listeners, educators and those we hoped would share their perspectives, stories and expertise with us through it.
So now we’re 3 months into prototyping, drafting, reaching out, collecting and editing, and are about ready to launch our pilot episode, followed by the first season. Through our prototyping we found that while a podcast is a great resource, and a new form of professional development even, it’s not enough. Teachers are stretched thin as it is. We need to give them some more. So here, right here on the website, we will also curate a resource bank, backing the topics and connections made on the podcast with classroom ready plans and resources.
We want everyone, no matter their class demographic, subject, neurodiversity, ability or skill, to feel like they can make connections that will lead us toward climate justice and a better world.
Join us to find yourself becoming a climate educator!