Podcast: Climate optimism or fatalism: Teaching climate change in today’s university (Part 3)



Last week, Teaching Matters launched a podcast to accompany and complement the Teaching Matters blog, adding another space for students and staff to have conversations and debates around learning and teaching at the University of Edinburgh.

In the first three episodes, University of Edinburgh staff and students debate how sustainability and environmental concerns are being tackled in today’s university. They discuss emotionally-charged issues around climate change, asking if they are facing climate optimism or climate fatalism in the classroom.

The first two episodes were released last week and capture a student-led discussion on inspiring climate optimism in the classroom, use of social media, embedding sustainability teaching in each School, teachers’ and students’ roles in tackling climate change, teaching empathy, and cross/inter-disciplinary learning.

In this third episode, MSc Environmental Sustainability student, Polly Wells, returns as our guest host to continue this conversation with three University of Edinburgh staff members: Dr Velda McCune, Dr Emily Creamer and Dr Hannah Chalmers. Polly asks her guests what inspired them to teach about climate change issues and their most effective ways of teaching these concerns, as well as inviting debate about the merits and challenges of interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Happy listening!

Teaching Matters podcast credits:

Guest host: Polly Wells (School of GeoSciences)
Director and Editor: Jenny Scoles and Sarah Thomas (IAD)
Advisor: Meg McGrath (Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability)
Producers: University of Edinburgh’s Communication and Marketing Media team.

Polly Wells

Polly Wells is an Environmental Sustainability MSc student at the university. Her interests in sustainability and climate change have evolved in recent years to consider the vital role public engagement plays in sustainable development. In pursuing this interest, Polly and a few friends have started their own podcast about environmental issues and sustainable solutions called Change, the conversation. Check out @changetheconver on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to be the first to know when episodes are released (coming March 2019).

Dr. Hannah Chalmers

Dr. Hannah Chalmers is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering, teaching on Thermodynamics (Mechanical) 4 and providing project supervision for mechanical engineering undergraduate and Sustainable Energy Systems MSc students.

Dr. Emily Creamer

Dr. Emily Creamer is a Research Fellow in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. She teaches Participation in Policy and Planning. Her primary research interest is in the role of citizens and communities within low carbon transitions.

Velda McCune

Velda McCune is Deputy Director of the IAD and Head of the Learning and Teaching Team. She has oversight of the continuing professional development opportunities which the IAD offers for staff involved in teaching and supporting student learning. An important focus of her work is collaborating with colleagues in Schools and Colleges to take forward research and scholarship relating to teaching and learning in Higher Education.

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