Teaching hope during the climate crisis

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Teaching hope during the climate crisisTeaching hope during the climate crisis

Headlines about severe climate events can make the future seem bleak. A new climate crisis and climate action course at McGill University is helping students find enough hope to be inspired to act. As a final assignment, students were asked to draw on what they learned in the course, as well as their own personal experiences and interests, to create a climate action plan. -We want students to see that there’s a place for them to take on climate action, so that they can have hope and agency, even if they don’t come into the course with that idea,- said Marcy Slapcoff , Director of the Office of Science Education (OSE) and co-lead of the course, which featured a panel of five instructors of diverse backgrounds each week. The cross-disciplinary format modeled a space for respectful listening and dialogue, allowing students to observe their instructors discussing and debating the material. -It’s empowering for students to see an instructional team work together and listen to each other,- said co-lead instructor and Faculty Lecturer at the OSE Diane Dechief. -It makes them feel that they can engage in a similar, respectful way with their peers.- In October of last year, former MP and NHL goaltender Ken Dryden - who helped develop the course - opened the first class with a lecture on how solving big, hard problems requires excitement and outrage. -I hope deep, deep down you understand, you appreciate, just what an amazing, incredible something we are all a part of,- said Dryden.