Why Climate Change Is an Education Story

Climate change is “fundamentally a local story,” Education Week’s Madeline Will and Arianna Prothero explain. They discuss their reporting and provide resources for covering climate change and its effects on students. (EWA Radio Episode 308)

Photo credit: Bigstock/CHAI CGN


Several states saw record-breaking temperatures this year. Schools across the country –  including in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, and San Diego – closed because of excessive heat. In Columbus, Ohio, teachers went on strike demanding air conditioning in their classrooms. Students being uncomfortably hot has been linked to poor outcomes in their health, learning and test scores.

Education Week reporters Madeline Will and Arianna Prothero partnered to cover these issues. Through reporting and original surveys, they examined how students’ learning, physical well-being, mental health, and post-graduation futures are affected by the changing climate. They also investigated how climate change is taught in schools and how students feel about the world they’re inheriting. Additionally, the Education Week team looked into which student-led efforts are making a difference.

In this week’s episode, Kavitha Cardoza chats with Madeline and Arianna about their EWA Reporting Fellowship project on climate change and education. They explain why climate change is “fundamentally a local story” and how mental health is part of the discussion. In addition to sharing several resources, Madeline and Arianna discuss why their assumptions changed after speaking to students.

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