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The Climate Education Gap: Majority of People Rushing to Make Up Ground in Their Climate Education

11/18/2021 | 08:03am EST
18 Nov 2021published at 13:00 PM GMT

More Than Three-fourths of People Globally Want Climate Education to Start in Elementary Schools

Hoboken, NJ, 18th November 2021 - Pearson, the world's leading learning company, today released new public opinion research showing that 77% of people are actively trying to learn more about climate issues because they say did not learn enough about those topics in school. They are finding this gap especially urgent as they seek to understand the global effects of climate change and prepare for the significant growth in green jobs over the next 10 years.

The Pearson Global Learner Survey, a poll of 5,000 people in five countries, found that 58% of people globally say topics related to the environment were not adequately taught in school. Many now report turning to media outlets, social media, documentaries, and books as the top ways they are getting up to speed.

Erika Webb-Hughes, Pearson's Vice President, Sustainability and West Coast Government Relations, said: "When you know better, you do better. Globally, the majority of people are educating themselves to gain a deeper understanding of climate change and the positive impact they can have through their own actions and careers. Their hunger to learn what they missed in school about the environment is fuelling interest in green jobs and practices that can be incorporated into any role or industry, as well as personal actions we can all take that will ensure a sustainable future for our world."

Majority of people say climate education should start early.

  • More than three-fourths of respondents around the world (76%) believe that children should start learning about climate change in primary school or earlier. In the US, 58% of respondents think children should learn about climate change as early as pre-school and elementary school.

  • Nearly nine out of 10 (88%) believe there is a more urgent need to educate people about climate issues than when they were in school, and an equal number (88%) believe schools now have a responsibility to teach students about climate and environmental issues.

  • The topics global respondents say are most urgent for children to learn about are: global warming (30%), climate change (30%), how to fight climate change (26%) and water conservation (25%).

Because of this learning gap, people do not feel prepared for a future of work built on green jobs.

  • Seventy-two percent globally believe career opportunities in green jobs will increase over the next 10 years.

  • But there is a major challenge: 54% globally say they do not believe they are currently qualified to work in a role of this nature.

  • Increasing green job opportunities and the lack of feeling prepared to take advantage of them is why 89% of people globally believe the education system in their country needs to do more to equip students with skills for green jobs.

  • People also favour retraining for adults: 86% of global respondents support providing workers in their countries with access to subsidised training for green jobs and nearly two-thirds (63%) believe it is the government's responsibility to fund the training.

  • And they want their jobs to have meaningful impact. The majority of global respondents (91%) feel it is important to have a positive environmental impact with their career.

Climate education makes a difference.

  • After learning more about climate change, more than three out of four global respondents (84%) report taking action in their own lives to reduce their personal impact on the environment.

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult from October 26 to November 2, 2021, among a total sample of 5,000 between the ages of 16 and 70 years old in the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, and China. The interviews were conducted online. Results are representative of the online population with a margin of error of plus and minus three percentage points.

Now in its third year, Pearson's Global Learner Survey is the leading poll of learners on education issues in the world, offering a deeper understanding of trends in education and providing key data to help further discussions on many important issues.

About Pearson

Learning is the most powerful force for change in the world. More than 20,000 Pearson employees deliver our products and services in nearly 200 countries, all working towards a common purpose - to help everyone achieve their potential through learning. We do that by providing high quality, digital content and learning experiences, as well as assessments and qualifications that help people build their skills and grow with the world around them. We are the world's leading learning company. Learn more at pearsonplc.com.


Pearson plc published this content on 18 November 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 18 November 2021 13:02:02 UTC.

ę Publicnow 2021
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