Teaching practices of climate change within and outside Social Studies classrooms: An exploratory study conducted in middle schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Munira Amirali


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Schooling is considered as one of the important educational institutions dealing with societal issues such as climate change. Curriculum, teaching and learning in schools play a vital role in nurturing the minds of learners. Amongst different subjects, social studies is considered to be a multidisciplinary subject in which learners learn about society and different lifestyles. The aim of the study was to explore the teaching practices of climate change inside and outside the social studies classrooms. The qualitative paradigm was used comprising semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and document analysis. The data revealed that, within and beyond social studies classroom, climate change is introduced as an impact of global warming which occurs due to an increase in human activities. Moreover, the findings of the study show that the teachers use textbook as a primary resource to teach climate whereas internet is used a secondary resource. Additionally, climate change is also addressed through activities and campaigns beyond the social studies classrooms. Lastly, there are few professional development opportunities provided to the teachers to address climate change. Thus, this ground-breaking research suggests that learners must learn adaptive and mitigating strategies to deal with climate crises. Moreover, climate change can be taught effectively through a theme-based curriculum and a multidisciplinary approach. The study also recommends that the lessons pertaining to climate change must give hope to deal with climate-related issues rather than anxiety and uncertainty.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library