Blake Touchet, NCSE's Teacher Support Partnership Specialist, was recently featured in two episodes of the Operation Climate podcast. Made "by young people, for young people," each episode is hosted and produced by high school and college students from around the world, with the goal of engaging and educating young people about climate storytelling, climate education, and climate action.
Touchet was interviewed for a series of episodes about climate change education in the United States. In the first episode, which aired on March 29, 2023, he appeared alongside journalist Katie Worth, the author of Miseducation: How Climate Change is Taught in America. Touchet and Worth discussed how state standards influence what is taught about climate change, the role that the fossil fuel industry and lobbyists play in influencing climate education, understanding and overcoming local and cultural barriers to teaching about climate change, and what comprehensive climate education should look like.
In the second episode, which aired on April 5, 2023, Touchet was featured along with Emma Refvem and Erin Carroll of Durham Public Schools in North Carolina to discuss what climate education looks like at the district and classroom level. Together they discussed who is holding teachers accountable for teaching about climate change, how teachers can include comprehensive climate education in their classrooms even if it is not included in their state standards, and how to engage students in climate education and action beyond the state standards in a fun, meaningful, and relevant way.
In the course of the podcast episodes, Touchet offered a general overview of how NCSE is contributing to the improvement of climate education through catalyzing action, research into science education, and the Supporting Teachers program. Additionally, the guests suggested actionable steps that students and parents can take to help to ensure their local schools are providing a comprehensive climate education.