New Jersey to Equip Teachers with Climate Change Curriculum

Morristown Minute
Murphy Administration Launches Resource To Help Teachers Incorporate Climate Change Into Lesson Plans.Photo byMorristown Minute

First Lady Tammy Murphy and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Release a Comprehensive Guide for Educators to Integrate Climate Science into K-12 Lesson Plans

NEW JERSEY — First Lady Tammy Murphy and Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette have unveiled a new resource aimed at arming educators across New Jersey with the tools they need to integrate climate science into their curriculum. This move comes as part of Climate Week, running from September 17 through September 24, dedicated to educating the public about climate change impacts and resiliency measures.

In 2020, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to incorporate climate education across various subjects, from kindergarten through high school, with the adoption of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The newly released Summary of Climate Change in New Jersey will serve as a guide for teachers to develop effective lesson plans about climate change. This document is available for download on the Department of Environmental Protection’s State Education Environmental Directory (SEEDS) website.

"As climate change increasingly poses a threat, it's critical that we equip our students with the necessary skills and knowledge. This summary will help our teachers in delivering classroom-specific lessons,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy.
Commissioner LaTourette emphasized the urgency of educating the younger generation on the climate crisis. "The youth today will lead the battle against climate change, and we must prepare them with a deep understanding of its science and impacts," he stated.

The Summary of Climate Change in New Jersey is written in straightforward language and summarizes key reports by the Department of Environmental Protection. It aims to serve not just science teachers but educators in various fields including Visual and Performing Arts, Comprehensive Health, Physical Education, Social Studies, World Languages, Computer Science, and Design Thinking.

Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Kaitlan Baston, NJ Acting Health Commissioner, also endorsed the new resource, underlining the importance of climate education for public health and a sustainable future.

New Jersey educators will also have access to additional support through programs like the Climate Education Mentor program and the Teacher Task Force. These initiatives are supported by organizations like the National Wildlife Federation, New Jersey Audubon, New Jersey School Boards Association, Sustainable Jersey, and The College of New Jersey.

For ongoing updates, teachers can join the DEP's environmental education email list. The DEP has also released a video and an interactive website about climate change in New Jersey, featuring user-friendly information that includes maps, photos, graphs, and animations.

This new educational initiative underscores New Jersey’s commitment to battling climate change by ensuring the next generation is well-equipped to tackle future challenges.

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