Case Study The Impa...
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Case Study The Impact of the ' I Can Project' on Schools Jacquie Ayre Liverpool World Centre Global Learning Education Manager


Briefly describe the activities that the teachers involved in the I Can project have developed in their schools.

 As a manager and facilitator on the I Can project I have worked with  a number of  teachers as they develop and deliver the project into their secondary schools.  They have found the resources provided by IO2 effective at stimulating discussion and debate in their schools. These activities have then initiated discussions around more practical activity as schools want to work towards reducing their carbon emissions and ecological footprint.

These teachers have also used the UN Climate Conference model as a practical way to engage young people so they can learn how to research, debate, negotiate  , collaborate and develop empathy around the climate emergency.

1. How did the activity address climate change?  

The practical work done across the project schools has included a range of things. One school has worked on developing a Solar Panel project. Another has initiated an Eco club where the young people have started a plastic recycling schedule to collect plastic bottles from all classrooms every day. Another school has implemented a ‘Climate Action Survey’ across all their pupils as a way of understanding young peoples' views on the subject.   

 In another school they have developed their Environmental Science lessons for Year 7 pupils so that there is a greater focus on climate change, conservation and biodiversity


2. As the LWC   project manager what has been the impact of the I Can  activities  on the young people and their teachers?

 These school partners have all commented on the positive impact of using resources created by the I Can project. They have found that the resources can motivate pupils of  secondary school age to become interested in the topic. The resources [ games and activities in IO2 ] meet the needs of students with different learning requirements.  The project has increased the confidence and skills of the participating teachers so they feel better able to  organise climate conferences and lead their students in a range of practical activities to reduce the impact of climate change in their local communities  .

 One group of SEN sixth form pupils were incredibly inspiring as they worked through activities from I01.  The activities acted as a spark to generate a lively and in-depth discussion about what needs to be done and the responsibility that we all have to make the planet a cleaner environment to support the live of people wherever they live in the world.

 Taking part in a Climate conference has ‘’increased young peoples’ understanding of different countries attitudes towards climate change’’ and has helped to improve empathy.As one teacher commented:

‘’ Students are better able to make connections to their learning in other areas since COP26 as they can understand the increased threat of hydrometeorological hazards ‘’.

 Teachers have seen the benefits of students working with those from other schools, this has supported the development of teamwork skills. Students ‘ have really enjoyed the COP experience in particular questioning other countries at the end of their presentations’’ The teacher also states that :

 ’ The students became fiercely protective of their countries, demanding to know what other countries were going to do to help them’’


3.  How  can we develop these activities in the future to ensure that more teachers and schools are able to put them into practice in the classroom and have the desire to run climate conferences?

In the UK this project has met with challenges, some relate to the timeline as we began during a period of Covid restrictions when schools across Europe had many difficulties to overcome.  Other challenges are the usual ones when we develop projects working with secondary school pupils. Teachers work within a constrained curriculum, often facing exam targets and have limited personal space and capacity to work towards developing new external initiatives.

  However, it became very apparent that many teachers feel the work of the I Can project is essential work that has to be done. It meets the needs of young people who are increasingly anxious about the planet’s future and want time to explore the issues and come up with personal and collective actions that might help with  mitigation.

 Teachers feel that the project has many strengths largely because it focuses on the skills, we need to foster in young people. The project makes the resources accessible, easy to use and relevant to young people. It also offers practical support so teachers can see different ways to approach the subject and find time to embed this into their schools. In some this means that it’s linked to the curriculum, in others it’s through eco clubs and in others it’s through collaboration with a wider school and community network.

 A real strength of the project is the format of the UN style climate conferences. These have taken place in the UK both online and face to face. They have involved younger pupils who have relished the challenge and debated in a mature and articulate way.  They have also been run with older pupils who have thoughtfully researched their country brief and taken to heart the responsibility of representing their allocated nation. The format of the conference, run in the style of UN conferences, has helped students deal with the issues with sensitivity and originality and has fostered a community of collaboration.

Young people have particularly  liked it when the conferences were held in local council chambers as they feel this gives them an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of adults and get out of their usual schools setting. Lastly, a further strength of these has been the local panel of people facing different sustainability challenges. Young people have engaged with these by asking astute and relevant questions and have been inspired to return to school to continue to work on the climate emergency by spreading the word to fellow pupils.



Topic starter Posted : 18/04/2023 2:41 pm