New Zealand Schools to Open Subjects about Climate Crisis, Activism and ‘Eco Anxiety’


This year New Zealand’s all schools will get access to materials about the climate crisis that is written by the country’s leading science agencies where school will offer tools for students to plan their own activism, and to process their feelings of “eco-anxiety” over global heating.

This upgrade in curriculum will put New Zealand in the list of first row countries that works for climate change education worldwide.

Materials will include a ‘feelings thermometer’ that tracks the students’ emotions and learn how to change defeatist self-talk.

New Zealand government said that this scheme will be offered particularly those schools which teach 11-15-year-old students and the subject will be not compulsory.

“One of the pieces of feedback we’ve got from teachers around the country is that they’re really crying out for something like this, because kids are already in the conversation about climate change,” said James Shaw, New Zealand’s climate change minister and co-leader of the left-leaning Green Party.

“It helps kids to see that it is a fixable problem and people are working on it, and there is something they can foresee for themselves in terms of their own futures,” he added.

The curriculum includes text, video, and advice for teachers which will help students to create and carry out an action plan on a particular environmental issue – such as creating an edible garden.

Education minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement, “It explains the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response to it and its impacts – globally, nationally and locally – and explores opportunities to contribute to reducing and adapting to it impact on everyday life.”

Italy will this year become the first country in the world to make sustainability and the climate crisis compulsory subjects for students, with material integrated into regular lessons, such as mathematics and geography.

> Dipto Paul

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