PEI

P.E.I. constantly updating climate change school curriculum

P.E.I.'s Department of Education and Lifelong Learning is adjusting the school curriculum around climate change on a consistent basis to keep up with the latest science.

Students learning about what they can do 'to try to mitigate climate change here on P.E.I.'

'We know that the environment is changing at a rapid rate and we are always trying to change our curriculum,' says Jaclyn Reid. (John Robertson/CBC)

P.E.I.'s Department of Education and Lifelong Learning is adjusting the school curriculum around climate change on a consistent basis to keep up with the latest science.

"We know that the environment is changing at a rapid rate and we are always trying to change our curriculum and make it as up to date and current as possible," said Jaclyn Reid, a math and science specialist for grades 7-12.

She said since 2016 the department has updated curriculum in both English and French for programs in grades 7-9 to better reflect new climate change findings. A new curriculum will be rolled out for Grade 10 students this year.

Reid said some of the learning involves students studying the environment around them, how they can reduce energy consumption and how human activity can contribute to the melting of glaciers.

"Really, just what they can do to try to mitigate climate change here on P.E.I.," she said.

'Put on my teacher hat'

Reid said they were interested in the findings out this week from the University of British Columbia. The study analyzed high school science textbooks and curricula in all 13 provinces and territories and interviewed people responsible for curriculum design in six provinces.

Jaclyn Reid says students do have a lot of opportunity to discuss climate change at various entry points within the curriculum. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Prince Edward Island scored fairly well in the study.

The only area where researchers said the Island was lacking was around teaching students about the current scientific consensus on climate change.

"When a report comes out like this I look at it and I put on my teacher hat and I say 'OK, what does this mean and what can we do with it to help make education on P.E.I. even better than it already is," she said.

A new curriculum will be rolled out for Grade 10 students this year. (John Robertson/CBC)

Reid said the education department has already made changes to the science curriculum since the UBC study was conducted last year.

She said education on climate change begins in the early grades and is not limited to just science classes.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Sarah MacMillan

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