Webinar recording

Climate Action Pedagogy (CAP): Co-Working Session 3

Karen Costa 

Karen Costa 

This page contains the proceedings of the third ‘Climate Action Pedagogy (CAP) Design Challenge: Live Co-Working Session‘ hosted by Karen Costa and the OneHE team.
Resource feature image

– All right, folks. Welcome, welcome, welcome. My name is Karen Costa. I’m gonna put the slides in the chat again. I am here partnered with OneHE. Dasha is my teammate from OneHE saying hello. Please feel free, you can chat either one of us. You all know I keep dual focus on the chat and on the slides. Please do know that the slides are resources for you. They’re the speaker’s notes are full of citations and resources and extra info for you that I couldn’t fit in. We only have an hour today. We’re gonna wrap the workshop portion around 1:00 PM Eastern, and then I’ve got 15 minutes set aside for questions. If you are watching this in the future, watching the recording, we are so happy that you are here.

Okay, so we are going to talk about Climate Action Pedagogy today. I bet I have some repeat CAP folks. I would love to know if anybody who is here has been with us before, or if it’s your first time, if y’all feel like sharing in the chat, I’m here for the first time, or I’m back again for more Climate Action Pedagogy fun. I would love to know. So feel free to say hello in the chat. As I said, we’ve got an hour for our workshop. I’ve got 10 minutes set aside for you to actually work, and I’m gonna be quiet and you will have a chance to actually make some progress on your learning artifact today. Everything is an invitation. You’re gonna hear me say that a lot of times, no breakout rooms today. We’re gonna stay together. We’ve got a nice sized group so that we can do that. If you don’t want to work and you wanna just listen, everything’s an invitation. So very low pressure. Do what you need to do today. Okay, I see lots of familiar names, so some of you may know me, and this is old news. We’ll make it quick. This is the least interesting part of the workshop for me.

Again, my name is Karen Costa. If you wouldn’t mind saying who you are in the chat as I’m introducing myself, that would be lovely to, maybe you’ll make a new friend. Perhaps you wanna share where you are in the world or what you teach or any of that good stuff. I’ve been teaching in higher-ed since 2006. Done a lot of work in the neuroscience of learning, particularly with online pedagogy. A lot of work with trauma, trauma-aware teaching. Some of you may have connected with me through that. And I also now do this climate action pedagogy work. I’m also a certified yoga teacher. Love to read, an artist, and love spending time with my shih-tzu Rocky. I happen to have a ADHD and identify as neurodivergent. My first book is called “99 Tips for Creating Simple and Sustainable Educational Videos.” If y’all decide that that is what you wanna create for your climate action pedagogy artifact, that might be a great resource for you. The chapters are real short and easy to digest, and I am working on my second book, which will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press on supporting ADHD learners, so that’s fun. You can find me these days on LinkedIn and Substack, if you wanna stay in touch after the workshop, no longer on the Twitter. That ship has sailed for me, occasionally on Blue Sky. So if you have socials, feel free to share them in the chat. I’d love for you all to find some new followers. And you know, we’re all kind of dispersed now, so it’s helpful in these kind of sessions to share your social so you can stay connected. My socials are in the slide deck, and the slide deck is here again as well.

All right. And I see you all saying hello in the chat. Wonderful. I’m thrilled to see that. Okay, so this is a live workshop or you’re watching the recording. We love you all so much that we also, oh, there’s my friend Brian, we gotta let in Brian Alexander, I love you all so much that I also created a completely self-paced course with the team at OneHE. So, the content is similar, but it’s a little bit of a different approach. So, if you’re interested in addition to this workshop, you might wanna go through that self-paced course. There’s also a gazillion other cool courses in the OneHE platform. Dasha is linked to the self-paced course for you as well. If your institution is part of OneHE, you get it for free. If you want to test it out, they have a 10-day free trial, and you could very much complete the course. It’s a micro course, so you could very much complete it within 10 days.

Hello, my friend Brian. Great to have you here. Folks, Brian is, as you know, he’s a teacher of mine and has certainly inspired me to do this work and has written a book about climate action. So you’ve got a great resource in the chat. We won’t make Brian work too hard today though, but we’re happy to have him here. Okay, so as I mentioned, everything today is an invitation. So I’m gonna reinforce this a few times. Do whatever you need to do today to feel well. Take what you need, leave the rest, your camera can be on or off. I love seeing you, I’m seeing, I’ve got like six faces that I can fit on my screen with everything else that’s opened, and they’re wonderful faces to see. Thank you. You can be super productive and ambitious today, or just like it’s cold and I maybe wanna learn one thing. Everything is awesome. We’ve got novices here, we’ve got experts, and you are all welcome here as your whole human self. Please take care of yourself. I’ve got some gorgeous resources on this idea of an invitation and how to do this work, maybe when we’re not feeling our best in the slide deck. And the slide deck, as I will do a few times, is there in the chat. So do mind those resources perhaps at a later time.

All right, here’s our agenda. We’re gonna check in on how we’re feeling. We’re gonna talk about the ‘why’ of this program. I have a template, if you know me, you know that I love templates and checklists. So I’ve got a template for you, sort of like a few worksheets that you can work through today or in the future. I’m gonna present to you my design vision for CAP, and then we’re gonna go into some recommended resources. At that point, you’ve gonna have 10 minutes to work, and I’m very intentional about the amount of time I choose. I want you to realize how much you can get done in 10 minutes. I have ADHD, I often use timers when I work. I try to fight doing the things I don’t wanna do, and then I’ll say just do it for five minutes. When I focus for five minutes, I’m always like, wow, I just kind of done. So I want you to feel the power of what you can do in 10 minutes. We’ll check in with each other. I’ll give you a few more examples of learning artifacts, what I call learning artifacts, so, things like assessments or assignments or lesson plans. And then we have a gorgeous 15 minutes for questions at the end. So again, we’ll aim to wrap at 1:00 PM Eastern, and then we’ll have 15 minutes for questions. Stay as long as you’d like. If you need to leave early, you don’t. No sorry is needed. We know life is happening.

All right, back in the chat, and I’m seeing the chat continuing, which is thrilling for me, thank you so much. Let’s check in. Where are you? So where are you now in your climate action pedagogy journey? So, in terms of teaching your learners, whoever that might, be about climate action, what’s a word or phrase that comes to mind to describe where you are now? I’m gonna take a breath and a sip of water. So, go ahead and share that in the chat when you have a minute. And I’m gonna check on the chat as well. Brian is feeling integrated. Wonderful. How are other folks feeling about where they are? Jared’s feeling curious, like the idea, not sure how to connect CAP to non-obvious disciplines. Ding, ding, ding, That’s what we’re here to do . Learning and trying. Brand new, excited, confident learning and listening. Wonderful. How am I feeling today? I’m feeling a little, like, strangely optimistic about things . I’m sure Brian relates to this as well. There are some moments where it’s like, oh my goodness, things, you know, you see new data come out and you’re like, oh, boy. But I’m seeing shifts in a positive direction as well. And just doing this workshop always makes me feel a little bit more optimistic, so strangely, cautiously optimistic. So wherever you are today, you are welcome and remember to take a minute and check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling. This is highly emotional work. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Okay, so the ‘why’ of CAP. One of the things I have found and kind of returned to in the past year is remembering that poetry helps. Are folks familiar with the poet Andrea Gibson? If not, you might want to check out their work. They are, I believe, the state, like the Poet Laureate for the state of Colorado. I think Andrea was just named. Wonderful, beautiful poetry. Andrea writes, “Even when the truth isn’t hopeful, the telling of it is.” That is a quote that speaks to how I feel about doing this work. You know, we do see some data that is really scary. We do often look around and say, why aren’t more people paying attention? It can feel hopeless at times. That’s okay. When I get together with a group of people and talk about it, I feel better. So, I would encourage you to keep that close. I’ve also put a book for you all in the speaker’s notes called, “Not the End of the World, How We Can Be The First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet,” by the author Hannah Richie. I believe it just came out. It’s on my to read list, and it’s a hopeful approach to climate action. So some of you might wanna check that out.

Another, even if you’ve been in CAP before, this is brand new research, and the link is in, again, the speaker’s notes. This is out of the Yale Center for Climate Communication. And the name of the game here is increasingly realizing that we know what needs to be done from a climate science perspective. How do we mobilize people to do that on mass, right? So Yale is doing, the Yale Center for Climate Communications, is doing a lot of work, and a new report just came out and they had three key findings. The first was that when we’re talking about climate and we want to inspire people to action, we need to practice radical simplicity. You are not going to overwhelm people into doing anything, okay? There’s tons of research. You’re not going to send people 70, 100 page reports and they’re gonna, you know, read those, and say, geez, I really wanna get started today. What their research has shown is that what works is radical simplicity. That’s what we’re gonna practice here. I was so excited when I saw this. I said, that’s what we do in CAP. You’re going to design one thing today or in the immediate future. You’re gonna focus on the small, radical simplicity. So I highlighted that one. Keep it simple. Keep it simple with yourselves and with your students.

The second thing is to focus on abundance and not limitation. So what they found is that human beings who are told that they have to stop doing things, shut down and say, I don’t wanna do that, right? We don’t wanna be limited. So what works in climate communications is inspiring people to think about how they might have more freedom through making choices that are in alignment with protecting all life on this planet. So focusing on abundance and not limitation. And the third finding is this one’s a little bit heavier, later is too late. So we are the generation, we are the generation that has to do this work. So this is not something that can wait for the next generation. We are it, we’re it, all of us. There’s 25 of us in the room. We’re the generation. So now’s the time. That full report is in the speaker’s notes.

I also wanna recommend this amazing book. So it’s in the speaker’s notes, but I brought it to show you all today. Show and tell. It’s called, “Don’t even Think About It, Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.” And the author is George Marshall. Again, the link’s in the notes. Each chapter is about three pages long. So it’s something that you can digest and it’s all about why we, many of us kind of shut down when it comes to climate action. And it’s about how to address that and bring people in to make these changes. So highly recommend that, Dasha put the link in the chat as well. Okay, so we’re gonna kind of shift into the CAP model and a little bit of work mode. I have a template for you all. I’m gonna pop the template in the chat. So if you have to run, I would suggest bookmarking that template. And you can always, if you come back to it, you can kind of work through the workshop on your own. It’s gonna prompt you to make a copy. You will need a Google account in order to make a copy. But that copy you can then work in and type in, and, you know, change things around. If you don’t have a Google account you can use the view only Doc.

All right, so I’m gonna pop over to that template on my screens. Dasha, can you gimme a thumbs up, you see the template? Okay. So the template is this workshop in a Google Doc. So again, if you need to bolt or you come back to it later, you can work through the CAP model by going through this Google Doc template, step-by-step. So we’re gonna talk today about accessibility. We’re gonna gonna talk about emergent strategy. That’s step one and two. Then we’re gonna talk about learning experience design. That’s step three. And then you’ve got all of my recommended climate action resources listed in the remaining steps, okay? So, I would, again, suggest bookmarking this. If y’all are like me, you can print it out as well. You could even do that if you wanted to . Unless you wanna be paperless, we wanna honor that as well. Okay, so that will get you going. We’re gonna come back to that later. You don’t need to use that template. I know a lot of us love structure, it’s there for you. If you wanna just, you know, pull out a post-it note and doodle, that’s fine too. Remember, everything’s an invitation. Okay? Any questions about the template? Pop them in the chat. I do have my eye on it. Wonderful. I’m seeing other book recommendations in the chat. We’ve got Brian’s book up. Amar has got a book up. Karen’s sharing some great feelings about balancing action with overwhelm. Brian, thank you. Yeah, template is good stuff.

Okay, so let’s talk about the design vision for CAP. We’ve got all this information about climate action coming at us. We’ve got, you know, heavy stuff going on in higher ed in the world, but we want to do something. Help, you know, give me a structure. So here’s how I’ve set up CAP. I’d like you to think about CAP as having these three containers. I like the word containers. Some of you might prefer the word framework. That’s fine. I borrowed the word containers from one of my teachers. Marley Grace, I have linked their website in the speaker’s notes. There’s something about containers that feels like it’s holding me together, right? When we’ve got a lot going on. So, here are the three containers we’re gonna explore today, and then you’ll have a chance put these into practice and do some design work if you’d like. The first is accessibility, first container. Second container is emergent strategy. If you’ve learned with me before, you’ve heard me talk about all of these containers. And the third container is learning experience design, LXD. We’re gonna keep all these real simple.

Okay? So let’s start with accessibility. So this is the first container I want you to keep in mind as you’re thinking about how to bring climate action into your teaching. No matter what, we want to make sure that what we’re designing is accessible to all learners, okay? So this is the baseline. Whatever you design, I want you to make sure it’s accessible to all of your learners. So examples of this would be adding captions to videos. I made a module to walkthrough for my research course, earlier today, and I took the extra five minutes to add captions to my videos. You’re going to add alt-text to your images. You’re going to provide diverse representation in, if you’re bringing in outside readings, including from disabled folks. You’re gonna offer your learners choices. This is a tenant of UDL, Universal Design for learning. So for example, if you have your students write it, you know, post a discussion to introduce themselves to the class, and you bring in climate action, maybe you’ll give them the option to post a video, post an audio recording, or to write their response. That would be an example of offering a choice. And we’re gonna remember that we’re doing this to make learning accessible to all of our learners. And we also want to recognize that disabled folks are uniquely positioned for leadership in the climate action movement. I identify as disabled myself. What I will say for myself is that having disabilities has forced me to be incredibly creative about adapting the activities of daily life. That’s what climate change is increasingly going to do. It’s going to make us rethink everything about how we live our daily lives. Guess who are the experts on that? Disabled folks. Okay?

So this is number one, this is the most important container at whatever you create. I want you to make sure it’s accessible to all your learners. We’re not gonna go too much farther into this, but there’s somebody at your university, your college, your school who can help you with this if you need additional help, so reach out to them. Okay, number two, second container is emergent strategy. Let me know in the chat, have folks heard of emergent strategy? If you know me, you have, because I don’t shut up about it. Have folks read adrienne maree brown’s book, “Emergent Strategy?” Oh, Sarah, everyone be so happy for Sarah, because Sarah hasn’t heard about it. Sarah your life just changed. I rely on the teachings of adrienne maree brown. And a link to her book is in the speaker’s notes. This is a quote from author Sage Crump from adrienne maree brown’s book. It is one of my favorite quotes of all time. And y’all know, I’m a wordy person. So that says a lot. Crump writes, “Emergent strategy is amplifying the importance of the incremental to impact the monumental.” So we recognize that small things have a ton of power, and we highlight those small things and we celebrate those small things, and then we start connecting those small things together, and massive changes can start to happen.

So I hear a lot in higher education, this idea like, it’s just me what can I do, right? And in the world, this workshop started because I was on the floor in my living room saying it’s hopeless. And I went to therapy one day and told my therapist, what is the point of all this? And she talked me through that. She helped me think about what I could do, to address climate change. What was in my power, where I already was working, that led to one thing, to another, to another, to another. This is the third time we’ve offered climate action pedagogy as a workshop. All of you are here today. You are living examples of emergent strategy. So remember that small is good. This is a quote from adrienne maree brown. “Small is good. Small is all.” “The large is a reflection of the small.” Like this is how I live in this world. I don’t know if any of you have asked yourself recently or in the past four years, how do we live in this world? This is how I live in this world. “Small is good, small is all, the large is a reflection of the small.” It helps me to focus on what I can do. Okay?

So as you’re designing today, I want you to play the game, what I call the game of small. So if you start to feel overwhelmed, don’t see that as a sign that you’re like off track. See that as a sign of, oh, how can I make this smaller? So maybe what is, you know, a week long lesson plan becomes one assignment. Maybe what’s one assignment becomes one discussion post or one email to our students. Maybe it becomes inviting a colleague out for coffee to talk about redesigning this in the Fall, right? So you’re just starting down the path. So if you start to feel overwhelmed, take a breath and remember, how can I make this smaller? Okay, higher ed talks a lot about scale, here we talk about small, okay? Here is another quote from adrienne maree brown’s book, “Emergent Strategy.” I am gonna read this to you, so if you wanna kind of take a breath so that you can receive it. adrienne maree brown is writing about Grace Lee Boggs, an activist, thinker, writer. And brown says, “Grace articulated it in what might be the most used quote of my life. Transform yourself to transform the world. This doesn’t mean to get lost in the self, but rather to see our own lives and work and relationships as a frontline, a first place we can practice justice, liberation, and alignment with each other and the planet.” I love that. I read that this morning. And what grabbed me, something different grabs me every time, what grabbed me was a first place, I love that.

So as you’re designing today, think about finding, what is your first place and how might you help your students find their first place? And then another favorite word, does anybody else love the word practice? I love the word practice. I wish we used it more in higher education. Then we practice together. Practice has this element of not seeking perfection, right? We’re learning and we’re trying new things. So keep that in mind as you’re designing your artifact. All right, and then our last container, before we look at the climate action resources and get you all to work, is learning experience design, also known as LXD. Give me a read in the chat. How many of you are familiar with LXD? Lots of overlap with instructional design. Some folks might be familiar with user experience. Jared, I kind of figured . So LXD is how I approach my work in higher education, which, you know, I’m a misfit. I’m all over the place. This is the thing that holds it all together. In case you’re wondering, there’s some really cool links in the speaker’s notes on LXD. Maybe Dasha would be so kind as to pop them in there? Oh, we have like a 50-50 split on folks who’ve seen this and haven’t so that’s really exciting. Here’s my interpretation of LXD. We’ve got some other designers who might have a different approach. Feel free to chime in the chat. My foundation of LXD is empathy. What do I mean by that? For me, empathy is asking who are my learners? Who are my learners? What do they want? What do they need? And what is the context in which they’re learning? That’s part one of empathy. We forgot somebody though. We forget this person a lot in higher ed. We forgot the educator. So this is part two of LXD for me – is empathy for myself. Who am I, what do I want and need? What a concept. Asking that question. What is the context in which I am teaching and learning? So, we know that faculty and staff and educator working conditions are student learning conditions. So it’s really important.

You might think of some wild, amazing way to teach climate action pedagogy today. And it’s only gonna take you 47 hours to put it all together. So, maybe you’re gonna ask that second question and say, you know what, that would be cool, but I’m going to scale that back a bit. I’m gonna play the game of small, and I’m going to do the thing that takes, you know, one or two hours. Maybe then I’ll, you know, every term I’ll add on and I’ll get to that. But I gotta love myself today too, if I want to love my students. So I’m not gonna do the 47 hour thing. We understand we’re going to take care of ourselves, okay. Good teaching is not about self-sacrifice. So empathy for ourselves and our learners. You might have heard me talk about mutualism, we could talk all day about that. Mutualism is the idea that we are seeking to create systems that benefit both students and faculty. This is in contrast to a model of parasitism, where one of us is hurt and one of us has helped. So much of higher ed is based around that idea, right? We either gotta hurt faculty or we gotta hurt students. Somebody’s gonna be harmed here. Mutualism talks back to that, and says, no we can create, we’re smart enough, we’re super creative. We can come up with ways to benefit both students and faculty. So when you’re designing, see if you pass the mutualism test.

Gorgeous Chris, Chris is finding the word reciprocity to be beneficial. If you wanna kind of find another word for this, please share what resonates most with you. So you’re going to design for yourself and your students. You’re gonna seek mutualism. Okay? So as a reminder, we’ve got accessibility. We’re not going to leave anybody out of this movement. And we’re gonna remember that disabled folks can help lead this movement. Our second container is emergent strategy. We’re gonna play the game of small and practice radical simplicity. Our third container is learning experience design. We’re gonna have empathy for ourselves and our students, and we’re gonna practice mutualism. Okay, questions about that design vision in the chat, I do have an eye on the chat as well as the slides. We’re gonna hop in now to some climate action resources, and then you get to play or work, whatever word resonates with you. Okay, so in the name of radical simplicity, I have three recommended resources for you to dive deeper into climate action. These might work to design a learning artifact to use with your students, you might go in other directions, but these are ones that I have exhausted. You know, I have looked at everything. I’ve seen everything there is, these are really good resources, okay?

So the first one, Dasha’s going to pop this in the chat for you, is Regeneration. Project Regeneration is a climate action organization. And we’re gonna look at their Nexus platform. So, there’s the link if you wanna pull it up. I’ve also got it up on my screen. This is, let me accept my little cookies there. Okay, so the Nexus page is a list of about 40 to 50 subtopics of climate action. So you can see here on my screen, we’ve got bamboo. I click on a different one of these in every one of the workshops. You can look, let’s, what the heck? Let’s figure it out. Okay, so if we click on Bamboo, it’s gonna tell us why Bamboo is a key issue that we need to learn about that can help us in climate change and climate action. Here’s what I love about this website and why I’ve recommended it to you. Every one of those sub pages is set up with the same structure. So they’ve got action items, they’ve got governance, key players in the movement around this Bamboo subtopic. And then we’ve got, here’s what I love for my faculty and staff. You’ve got the learn section. So they’ve broken it up into Watch, Read and Listen. Watch your videos, read our articles. Listen typically are podcasts. All right, so let’s find that was everything about Bamboo. How exciting. Okay, now we’ve got, there’s so much here. I never know what we wanna click on. Perennial crops, I have been getting into gardening, so I’m gonna click on that. And we have been trying, I know a lot of folks are talking about this in my neighborhood as well. So you’ll see here, same structure, action items, governance, key players, and learn. So this is a really simple structure, but that main page has lots of visuals. You click on one that you wanna learn more about. And then they’ve got that watch, read, and learn section. Excuse me, watch, read, and listen. So that’s Project Regeneration, Climate Action Organization, excellent educational resources.

The next one I wanna share with you is called “All We Can Save.” So “All We Can Save,” is a book. So, if any of you are looking for a textbook or you want to have a book that you can read with your students, I included this for that reason and others, it’s a nice paperback book. Very readable short essays. You don’t need to have the book in order to access “All We Can Save,” and benefit from their resources. So they have a question bank, they have assignments that they’ve created, they’ve got discussion guides, essay summaries, and then they’ve got a really nice selection of Climate Action Ted Talks as well. “All We Can Save,” is another climate action organization. I also wanna promote that they do summer workshops for faculty. I believe that one of them is at the Omega Institute in New York. So if you wanna get together at like a retreat like atmosphere, you might wanna check out “All We Can Save” and follow them, okay? And then the third climate action resource I wanna recommend is from Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. And she has created this idea of developing climate action Venn diagrams. This is a really cool, simple exercise. If you’re looking for low hanging fruit, what I’ve heard from previous faculty who’ve done this workshop is this is their favorite low hanging fruit, okay? So if you don’t wanna think too much and you’re like, just tell me something that works. This your path.

So this could be an assignment you do with your students, have them create Climate Action Venn diagrams. What brings you joy, what work needs doing, and what are you good at? And then in the middle is where you realize your next step, kind of like I realized my next step was to do these workshops with faculty. So, the goal is not to become Brian Alexander, right? Or Greta, the goal is to find what you already do, and what you’re good at, and to find what needs doing and then to do that. So, I was stuck because I thought I had to go, you know, travel internationally to do climate protests, and that’s not really in my bandwidth right now. So, I felt hopeless. When I realized all jobs are climate jobs and all courses are climate courses. I said, oh, well, I do faculty development and support work that I can do, right? So what is that thing? You’re like, oh yeah, that’s what I do. Bring climate action into that, okay? You don’t have to be, Brian, we love Brian and we’re glad that he’s here doing his work. But you don’t have to be Brian, and you don’t have to be Karen, what can you do? Dasha, my friend Dasha here, supported me in creating this workshop and course for OneHE, right? That’s climate action mark. All jobs are climate jobs, all courses are climate courses.

There’s also a gorgeous Ted Talk with this creator of Venn diagrams so you can check that out, okay? Instagram, there’s a template. Oh, we love templates. There’s a template for that Venn diagram. You don’t even have to make your own template. We keep it simple. Okay? So I think I’m doing okay on time, but that might be denial. Okay, so we just looked at all three of those resources. I wanna remind you, small is all, there’s tons of content out there. So your job is to practice radical simplicity, protect yourselves and students from overwhelm. So make sure when you’re talking to your students about this, that we’re reminding them to keep it small, keep it simple, stay focused, to avoid overwhelming ourselves or them. Any questions about any of that content? Daniella, that’s a great question. Yes, let’s all do that research . Brian can probably vouch for me that talking about bringing climate action into the classroom is, talking about climate action in higher ed is pretty new. What we’re seeing is that the institutions who are talking about it often completely ignore teaching and learning. I know, we’re institutions of teaching and learning. So Ellen has shared an interesting link there, which I’m gonna check out. But this is an emerging field.

So yes, the answer is yes, we need more of that. Yes. Oh, there’s a gorgeous conversation going on there. And Brian, yes, agreed. Students are often a lot more interested and receptive than faculty and staff. So let’s, like, let’s listen and bring our students into this conversation and learn from them as much as we’re learning with them, right? Okay, I gotta get y’all to work, especially so my little voice can take a break here. Okay, so I am going to set a timer, we’re not starting yet, we’re gonna ease into this. I’m gonna give y’all a minute. I gotta pull up the clock on my phone and I need to turn on timer and I’m gonna, it’s getting ready, okay? So here’s what you’re gonna do. I’m gonna put a 10 minute timer on my phone. You might wanna put one on your phone as well, but you don’t need to, trust that I am holding the space. You might in a minute wanna mute me. You might wanna turn off your screen, I invite you to stay in the room, that’s fine too. I want you to think about designing, starting to design, one learning artifact that you can use with your students. What has come up for you? Has an assignment come to mind that you can revise, has an assignment come to mind that you can create? This learning artifact does not need to be an assignment. It might be, I’m gonna create an email to my Dean saying that we need to work on this as a team at our next professional development day. In my book, that’s a learning artifact. So, if this 10 minutes is to draft that email, that’s thrilling. If you wanna work on an, you know, a lesson plan for your students, if you wanna create a discussion prompt for your students learning artifact is the broad invitation.

I am going to remind you all, Dasha, would you put that template? Oh, I’ll do it as well. I’ve got it here. Oh, Dasha is a step ahead of me. I wanna remind you all that you have that template. So if you’re not sure where to start and you’re feeling kind of stuck, I wanna bring you here to Step Three in the template Design with Empathy. There’s a little chart that you could use your 10 minutes to complete, and I believe that will generate some ideas for your learning artifact, if you’re stuck. So you answer those questions, who are my learners? What do they want? If that’s not your bag, my next recommendation would be to go through Step Four and just start exploring those three resources I just said, just poke around, see what comes of it, and see what generates. Others of you might have specific learning artifacts in mind and can dive right in. I’m gonna pause, see if there’s questions in the chat, and then we’re gonna get started on working. Any questions before we do some working? Okay. Whatever you do, just try to start, get your ideas down in writing, try to establish the next step. If you want to schedule time to do this in the future, that’s great too. Let’s go, 10 minutes. I’m gonna be quiet, that’s a challenge or a gift, and I’ll see you back here in 10. All right, folks, we’re coming up on 10 minutes. So, someone said, when I came on earlier and said, we had four minutes left, they were in deep work mode and I startled them. Which is good and bad. If you are in deep work mode, you can keep me muted and continue to work, that’s fine. I’m gonna move us along, but know that, as I said earlier, everything’s an invitation. We have a lovely chat going. If you turned the chat off, you might want to pop back in there, on the topic of integrating climate action into a technology course.

So, lots of brainstorming going on there. Please keep sharing your resources. So I’d love to know how that went for you. So there’s a bunch of questions here. These are options. I don’t expect you to answer them all though you might. Those of you who took keyboarding in high school like I did and can type fast. So maybe pick one of these and come back into the chat. Where are you now? Where are you now with your climate action pedagogy journey? What just went well for you? We love good news. What questions are coming up for you? Did you discover a new resource that you wanna share? I see a book link coming up in the chat. I recommended the movie “The Creator,” Brian, I can’t vouch for it, but my son told me that it’s about a benevolent AI, that was his interpretation at least, maybe others have seen it. What help do you need? I’m not sure we can get it to you in this moment, but sometimes, remember the telling of the truth is hopeful. So sometimes putting what help you need into words – Megan is sharing, moving forward, what went well, all of you. Yeah. So that’s one of the other secrets. Do these things small and do them in loving community.

I just keep repeating that to myself. Do small things in loving community. Do small things in loving community. You can borrow that if you’d like or take it. Danielle’s feeling excited. That is one of the coolest things about doing this workshop. It’s wild. Like I love, I get it. I feel that way too, like we can help people get excited about doing climate action. That is real. That is possible. And it’s happening right here. I took “Holding Change,” by AMB off the shelf. I love when the books that have been sit, like the book that was sitting there and now it’s ready to come off the shelf moments. Megan, gorgeous, Climate Solution Simulator, great to actually sit down and think it through it’s hard to make time. Yes, Sarah, that’s why we’re doing this. Brian’s given a plus one. Yeah, there’s a lot in there. I’m gonna pause on the chat. I’m gonna keep us moving for time’s sake. I love what you all are doing and I hope you’re feeling a little more hopeful. And that was 10 minutes, y’all. That was not two hours, it was not two days, it was 10 minutes. We can do a lot in 10 minutes. Okay, I’m gonna run through a few more. I gave you three general resources. I’m gonna give you seven more specific examples of what your learning artifacts might look like or some resources that will help you.

The reason I did not give these to you before your work session is because I am writing a book about ADHD and one of the pieces of literature or schools of literature I’ve come across is that examples constrain creativity. I love examples, I need at least some structure, but too many examples can make people feel like they have to fit into that box. So I didn’t wanna do that, but I’m gonna give it to you now. Okay, so these are all on your template and they’re also in the speaker’s notes. So, the first one we’re gonna look at is called a Punch List. This is on the project regeneration website. A Punch List is having your students research things that they could do in their own communities or at their own school or in their own city to address climate change. And you could do this in a Google doc, right? Project Regeneration has this nice like template and you can read other people’s Punch Lists. And then there’s this little cute map where they can see, oh, I’m doing this with other people. So super simple. They create a free Regeneration account and you work with your students to create solutions where they are right now, not being somebody else.

Okay, here’s another one on Regeneration’s website, the Carbon Calculator. So you can have your students estimate their carbon footprint. That would be a really interesting exercise. And then you could have a conversation. Karen, I teach psychology. How do I connect that back to psychology? Excellent. That’s the conversation, right? How does my class that I teach on intro to psychology? Well I mean I don’t teach psychology, but I could tell you, psychology can help us understand how we can make changes, right? So, you will work with your students and perhaps co-design with your students to figure out how your course applies and can answer these questions. So that’s the Project Regen Carbon Calculator. This is from my home state of Massachusetts. It’s a shared Google drive. That’s, yes, that’s what you’re looking at. That’s my intention, these are public service announcements created by middle school students in Massachusetts. We have an organization here called Cooler Communities, which is an educational K through 12 organization to help inspire climate action. You could have your students make public service announcements. These are middle schoolers. So I know that our college students can make public service announcements. Here is a wonderful organization that looks at land acknowledgements and land use and determining whose land we are on, which can connect your students to tribal and indigenous folks who are the leaders and have always been the leaders of living in harmony with our natural environment and respecting all life on this planet. So, pursuing that avenue could be very generative for your course.

Got a couple more for you, Dasha told me, I’m so excited. The person who created this website that I’m showing you, Salem State University of Massachusetts, Zines. If you did not get the memo, zines are back. If you’re a ’90’s kid, I’m probably actually an ’80’s kid. If you are a ’90’s teen, you know about zines. They’re back y’all. And our friend, Dawn Stahura is an academic librarian at Salem State. Dawn is doing a workshop in March on zines. Come and learn how to make climate action zines with your students. Zines are just like little cool paper folded magazines and they’re creative and fun and silly, and they are a long history of activist movements using zines. So tons of resources there. That might be your artifact. I don’t even know. I’m pulling them up. Yes. Okay, this is a CAPi – a former, somebody who went through CAP. This is the learning artifact they designed. It’s for an IT management class. It’s on smart micro-grids. Brian, you were asking about technology. This might be an interesting thing to take a look at. It’s in the template if you need the links. So this amazing faculty went through CAP and created this learning artifact and offered to share it with you all. So this is open, you may use and reuse. And then I’ve got one more, another CAPi who went through June or August, created this project in CAP. Again, it’s open and I have their permission to use this. So this is another gorgeous example of a learning artifact. One page, simple, and they put it together in our session.

Okay, I know the chat’s going off, I wanna get us back to where we need to be, and then we’ll have 15 minutes for questions. I just went a little wild. I know. Did something in your body do a little zing, When one of those came up? For me it was zines today, it’s always a little bit different. Don’t turn off the, you know, that logical mind that’s like, oh, I should do this one with them. Do the zing one. Life is short. So, you know, don’t try to do them all, is what I’m trying to say. Find a zing and simplify. Okay. All right, this is another writer poet, Ocean Vuong who writes, “We often tell our students ‘The future’s in your hands.’ But I think the future is actually in your mouth. You have to articulate the world you want to live in first.” So if you’re stuck, one way to think about this work is, how can I help my students articulate the world they want to live in first? Remember we talked about first places. This seems like a great first place. And doing that with them, I bet many of us need to do this work as well. We get really caught up in what’s not working. And I think emergent strategy reminds us to focus on envisioning and imagining what might be, and articulating the world we want to live in first. So, if you do nothing else, if you’re stuck, that’s a great learning artifact.

All right, we are, I believe, at the end of our workshop time, but we’ve got 15 minutes for questions. So before you run out, if you’re running out before questions, I would love for you to share in the chat, where are you now, what’s your next smallest possible step? And if you wanna stay in touch, maybe share your contact info. So chat’s gone wild. I’m gonna scroll to the bottom and then I’m gonna pause and see if folks have questions or things they wanna share. Anything you wanna write in the chat for like, where I am now is that I am going to go to that zine workshop and focus on a climate action zine, or I’m gonna, you know, buy Brian Alexander’s book or I’m going to look at that project regeneration website. Using our mouths to name our first place. If you wouldn’t mind sharing in the chats. Brian’s feeling complicated but excited. Yeah. My big hope is that just folks are leaving here saying like, oh, I can do something and I can do something small in loving community. Lisa is going to organize these resources to help faculty. Oh, Lisa, so you’re one of us folks who works with faculty, so that’s wonderful. Laurie is going to explore the resources, write them in an item for the faculty newsletter. Brian’s going, again, feeling excited to develop my academia in the climate crisis game. Wonderful. Yes, we need games and fun, games are things that help us imagine and help us play. Wonderful, inspired and excited. Wonderful. Okay, I’m gonna be quiet now and I’m gonna stop sharing my slides. Okay. Hollywood squares. Hi folks. So no pressure if you need to run, I know an hour and 15 minutes is a lot to ask of folks, but I wanna hold some space if you have questions or if you have a resource you wanna share or something that came up for you and you wanna offer those up to other folks. So y’all can, I believe you can come off mute if you just want to share or if you wanna type in the chat that’s cool too. How are we doing? What came up? What’s lingering?

– I have a question, Karen. So I’m teaching a course on feminist ecologies and environmental activism for the first time. And I’ve decided to start the class with having a therapist come and talk with students. She’s a resilient nature therapist, which I found, which is pretty incredible. Because I know, and I know my students, one of your questions, who are your students? And I know how much emotion is going to arise over the course of the semester. So I wanted to really set that empathetic space and let students know that the feelings that are coming up are, you know, okay to share in class. So I’m just curious, as you’ve been doing this work, are there other ways, resources, ideas that people have for sort of creating that space of emotional support, which is inevitable when talking about these issues and teaching about these issues?

– Yeah, so if anybody wants to chime in, just go hey Karen, I have thoughts on this that I’m gonna share, but I am tired of hearing about myself in general, or you can pop him in the chat. So I love that. I’m hoping that’s helpful for other people. I expect that it is to start with that mental health aspect. Yeah, so there’s this really interesting, I put some two links in the chat for you. There’s a lot of climate anxiety. We’re seeing growing rates of climate anxiety across all ages, but particularly in younger folks because they’re not blocking it out as much as possibly older generations. What we’re also seeing is that purpose is an antidote to despair. So we’ve known that for a long time. So there’s some great research called PIL research, Purpose in Life research. And it is one of the strongest indicators for health outcomes across the lifespan is having a strong sense of purpose. If you’ve seen the Netflix documentary, oh God, I can’t remember, tell you what it’s called, but the guy goes to like the places in the, the Blue zones guy, diet is a big part of it, but a sense of purpose is incredibly protective against both mental and physical illness. So that’s coming up for me to share with you is that I

would just be mindful that I don’t think we need to pathologize, this is going to be a both ands, so wait for the both and. I don’t think we need to pathologize climate anxiety because to me, being concerned is a very – it’s very good to be, we all need to be concerned and it’s good for us to be concerned. It means we’re paying attention, right? And we certainly wanna connect people who are struggling with mental illness, with correct care and treatment. However, like, this is something that we all need to be aware of. Paying attention to it is upsetting, but then very quickly, I think, or maybe even like sort of at the same time, tacking back and forth between those anxieties and taking action is an antidote to despair. So, I think making sure that we’re reminding people that we always wanna connect to correct care. And if you take small action in loving community, that will help address some of that. So some folks might need to go the path of getting treatment for climate anxiety, but some folks might be able to process that through action. So that’s what’s coming up for me. Did anybody else wanna share any, I see some things in the chat here, so check those out. Other questions? That’s an excellent question. That’s a great idea. Partner with your campus counseling teams, partner with your campus human services department, all jobs are climate jobs, wonderful. Other questions or ideas or concerns or feelings?

– It’s maybe an odd question.

– Jared.

– Because I’m a little bit of an odd person. When I’m thinking about this, the campus that I’m at now, the students are already prone to social justice and activism. So when I start talking to faculty about this, it’s likely to lead to some tensions on campus about, Hey why don’t we have a more plant-based diet? Or hey, could we do a community garden in the middle of the campus? You know, like the students might actually take this seriously and which might get some folks like me in the faculty in trouble. I’m curious what kind of, yeah. What kind of pushback you may have heard of, or anticipate with, you know, small actions that can make a bigger difference.

– Yeah, you know, I mean I laughed because I’m thinking Jared, I think these are good problems so I’m trying to like frame your, so having students share resources on plant-based diets or wanna design a community garden, you feel some people would view those as problems?

– I’d say if we went to say our dining services and said, hey, y’all are too meat heavy, that would be a problem because there’s contracts and negotiations involved with that. They’re outside of the students’ world.

– Yeah. So okay, great. So I hope other people resonate with that. Yeah. Okay. So like this is just very realistic. So a couple things coming to mind, adrienne maree brown. So change is inevitable. Change is gonna happen. Things are not gonna stay the same, that’s not how the universe works at a fundamental level. So the question is how we shape change. So that is just a fundamental that I wanna share. Like the campus is not gonna stay the same, that’s just not how it’s gonna work. So change is gonna happen. Do we wanna evolve or do we wanna devolve. And then my next answer to that is like, yes have the students like, what could be more valuable than having them anticipate that, right? And work through that. Like that is the work of activism. So I would weave that into the lesson. What are some anticipated barriers to address to bringing a plant-based diet onto campus? So somebody’s done, here’s the other thing I wanna remind you of. Have them do some research – solutions-based journalism or solutions-based research. Someone has done it, campuses have done that. So we don’t have to recreate the wheel every time. If you’re gonna interview the student at, you know, x, y, z university who did that. They’re gonna share with you what the pushback was. You’re gonna anticipate that. And yes, this is not work that is going to be without some pushback.

This is another, I would also think about this book. This talks about how basically a lot of us shut down when we hear climate change, we don’t wanna think about it, we don’t wanna talk about it. Not because we don’t care, but because we’re terrified. So that, you know, that decision might be sort of like an icky business decision that isn’t in the best interest of the long-term community, but it also might be from a place of real fear. So reminding them to have empathy for that conversation. To do things small, to do things in loving community. Small is all, so maybe it’s not like you go fully plant-based, but like, hey Cafeteria Manager, can we go plant-based for one meal a week, right? That’s what I try to do for myself to eat more plant-based. I don’t try to be a plant-based eater, but like Saturday night is now a plant-based meal. So Meatless Monday, honey. Like let’s, yeah, small is all. Was that helpful? I didn’t mean to say. I hope that was helpful. Okay, good. That was a great question. That was a great question. All right, folks, we have four minutes. Does anyone have a final question or something they wanna speak into the world in this loving community? Dasha has suggested Veganuary Yes. That’s after Meatless Monday. You do the day and then you do the month. Yeah, oh there’s a website for that y’all. Wonderful. Great. That’s a great idea.

Yeah and Jared, like, again, I’m just going like, and that would be a great problem to have, yeah. And Mutualism. And Mutualism is coming to mind. So how can we design this in a way that benefits the cafeteria managers and the students? I bet there’s a way. I bet there’s a place where that exists. And that’s the design challenge. But we do that with the students. That’s great. Other questions? It was so wonderful to see you all. I’m gonna hang for three more minutes. Thank you, Lisa. Thank you for being here. Yeah. All of you being here, this is the work. So taking time outta your busy days to attend a workshop is wonderful, it’s enough. And who knows what just came of our hour we spent together. If you haven’t already, check out the self-paced course. If you have colleagues who are like, I couldn’t be there, but I wanted to be there. But I wanna do this. Shay, thank you, a climate anxiety paper, a climate anxiety in children and young people, wonderful. Dasha’s gonna send out the recording if you wanna check that back. Chris, I got some ideas for my stuff. I don’t know what your stuff is, Chris, but I’m looking forward to seeing it. All right, I’m gonna hang, but if y’all need to drop off, Dasha and I will be here. Bye Lisa. Jared, great to see you. Leeray, always good to see you.

– Good to see you again, Karen.

– Thanks so much.

In this webinar, Karen Costa presented curated climate action resources suitable for easy adaptation in higher education classrooms. Participants had the opportunity to discuss climate action pedagogy’s opportunities and challenges with peers. The session is suitable for both newcomers and those who have completed a Climate Action Pedagogy (CAP) course or workshop before. To learn more, check out the self-paced course on Climate Action Pedagogy (CAP) Design Challenge developed by Karen.

Karen Costa is an author, adjunct faculty, and faculty development professional working to support both faculty and student success in higher education. She specialises in online pedagogy, trauma-aware teaching, and supporting neurodivergent learners. 

The webinar slides are available at https://bit.ly/jancap24 (Google slides, opens in a new tab). Useful links mentioned during the webinar can be found in the speaker’s notes on the slides. During the recording, Karen refers to a Climate Action Pedagogy Design Template, which is available at https://bit.ly/CAPtemplate23 (Google doc, opens in a new tab).

The recordings of the first two co-working sessions are available at:

Here is a testimonial from a recent Climate Action Pedagogy faculty learner: 

“I wanted to share a comment from one of my master’s in IT Management students about our project on smart microgrids that was inspired by the spring climate action pedagogy co-work session: “The most important thing I took from the experience is something I learned about myself. I learned that energy and sustainability are topics I am now passionate about. I can see myself working in the sustainable energy field in the future. Large monopoly power companies using oil, coal, dams, and gas production are socio-economic problems. Energy choices are changing worldwide with small systems using solar, wind, water, renewable sources, and battery storage. I have a new perspective on my future career and the impact I can make after the class experiences. The student team, professor guidance, research, and interviews with the CWU grid manager gave me a perspective about implementing a technical project with societal impact.” I’m so grateful for the co-work session’s inspiration and resource sharing that brought this about!”