This spring, we invite you to "Make Climate a Class" for just one day, as part of the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice on or around March 29th, 2023.
Can you do it? Yes, you can! Here's what we mean:
Devote a short portion of your regular class time to a discussion of how your field contributes to the understanding of climate change, or climate solutions, or climate justice. Bring it into the classroom. If even a few Xavier faculty do this, we will engage hundreds of students in a positive focus on the climate crisis.
Here’s what we suggest:
Tell students you are taking a short diversion into climate. Tell them it's as a part of the Worldwide Teach-in. For 15 minutes, introduce an example of how your discipline is thinking about climate change. Then have a 15-minute presentation from an alumnus or colleague who is actually working on climate change. Thirty minutes, DONE.
Climate change touches every field — from artists to entrepreneurs, from philosophers to scientists. Our courses can inspire students to see how they can be leaders in the critical work ahead to stabilize the climate.
- If you teach literature, talk about the emergent genre of climate fiction ("cli-fi") or a specific work of climate fiction. Then engage your students in discussion.
- If you are in STEM, assign students a problem related to climate change or climate solutions.
- If you teach a class related to food systems, discuss the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the food supply.
- If you are in the social and behavioral sciences, discuss the human dimensions of climate change and climate justice. (For a neuroscience-informed perspective, you might take a look at Ann-Christine Duhaime's new book, Minding the Climate, subject of a recent interview in the New York Times.)
The possibilities are endless.
Students will appreciate the chance to learn how your field relates to an issue that is of major consequence for literally everyone on the planet. They'll appreciate seeing a pathway to solving climate that goes beyond lifestyle choices and political action, as important as those may be.
CAT+FD is here to help. Reach out if you'd like to brainstorm ideas, or if you have a specific question, or just to let us know that you're thinking about it.
Footnote: This post is adapted from the "Letter to faculty who spoke in 2022 teach-in"