ERIC Number: EJ1206562
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Abstractor: As Provided
Teaching the Health Impacts of Climate Change in Many American Higher Education Programs
Lavey, Warren G.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v20 n1 p39-56 2019
Purpose: Climate change is the greatest threat to global health today and it challenges professionals in many disciplines. Most American university programs lack courses covering the rising deaths and illnesses from climate change. Consequently, graduates in health and other disciplines are underprepared for providing services in a world affected by climate change. They also lack the training to communicate this transformative development effectively. Universities should fill this gap and this paper aims to provide guidance on approaches to teaching climate-related health effects (CRHE). Design/methodology/approach: Three analyses guide university coursework on CRHE. First, consider what current practitioners observe about the challenges they face and capability of trainees. Second, identify gaps in accreditation standards for university programs regarding these competencies. Third, draw lessons from innovative courses at a major American university. Findings: Leading associations of practitioners in healthcare services, public health, social work, urban planning, civil engineering, law and other professions call for training students on CRHE. In contrast, accreditation bodies for most university programs fail to specify such curricula and competencies. Four offerings at a major American public university in 2016-2017 developed knowledge of CRHE, skills to improve professional services, appreciation of professional responsibilities and communication competencies. Originality/value: Building on recommendations for climate change and sustainability in higher education, this study focuses on health effects, finds gaps in many programs and accreditation standards within and outside health sciences and draws lessons from innovative offerings.
Descriptors: Climate, Ecology, Public Health, Allied Health Occupations Education, College Role, Accreditation (Institutions), Barriers, Responsibility, Communication Skills, Sustainability, Curriculum, College Students, Conservation (Environment), Lecture Method, Experiential Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A