When it comes to teaching children about the climate crisis, who is responsible? A
network of K-12 Literacy and English Language Arts (L-ELA) teachers are taking the
charge. Alexandra Panos, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy studies and director
of research for the Center for Climate Literacy at the USF College of Education was awarded a $50,000 Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant, along with Co-PIs Michael Sherry, Ph.D., associate professor in English Education
and Jarod Roselló, Ph.D., associate professor in Creative Writing. The grant will
fund a study that will bring Florida-based L-ELA educators together over the course
of one year to form a network that will meet virtually and in-person. Panos explained,
“Climate change has historically been taught solely through STEM fields and remains
a politically contentious issue, while its fallout is experienced inequitably in ways
that exacerbate historical and present injustices. L-ELA teachers require supportive
environments to develop capacity to bring climate change to their unique teaching
contexts.” The teachers will participate in creative and professional reading and
composing, and inquiry-based climate education guided by their goals and teaching
contexts. “We are looking to identify and understand how teachers bring climate literacy
to the classroom – how they understand the instructional narratives, navigate the
challenges, and build capacity for their own climate justice literacies,” said Panos.
The first collaboration for teachers is scheduled for Fall 2024.

Visit Dr. Panos’ faculty profile to learn more about her work toward combatting climate change through literacy in
K-12 education.

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