Local and global issues of climate change and sustainability 


5+ hours

Learning objectives:

cCHALLENGE is a tool and learning program that allows the teacher and students to explore the process of change and transformation in a practical way. With a personal 30-day change experiment at the core, the students can address and learn about both local and global issues of climate change and sustainability through experimentation, experience, reflection, conversations and stories.

Description of the learning process and activities:

cCHALLENGE helps students to see where, why and how they make a difference. Over the thirty-day change experiment, students receive research-based information, inspiration and reflection questions based on a heuristic known as The Three Spheres of Transformation. Thus, each student’s individual change experiment is embedded within a larger narrative of social and systems change. Participants are encouraged to explore how their actions, conversations and engagement influence (and are influenced by) others, as well as how systemic factors can facilitate or impede change.

By approaching change as an experiment, pupils are encouraged to explore, reflect and ask questions such as “what if”, “why?” and “why not?” Through engagement in cCHALLENGE activities, students experiment with personal change through 30-day projects that are followed up during and after the 30-day period in the classroom and out-of-school activities.

Each student chooses and commits to a personal change experiment related to sustainability. They select an everyday habit that they wish to change for 30 day. Examples of challenges will be given to the students for inspiration, such as:
• Avoid plastic packaging
• Experience nature for 30 minutes or 1 hour a day
• Pick up garbage on the way to school
• Talk to someone about climate change every day
• Eat vegetarian meals 3 or 5 days per week
• Bike or walk to school every day
• Do not buy anything new during the project
• Reduce food waste
• Recycle waste

When appropriate, students should be supported in seeing the relationship between their challenge and the larger topic being studied in the curriculum.

During the cCHALLENGE, students reflect upon and share their experiences with each other, at school, with family and friends, and the wider community. This includes stories about successes, frustrations, research discoveries, and insights. Students share their experiences and stories in the form of blog entries, drawings, in-class discussions, describing possible solutions, new ideas, and courses of action together with evidence of change. These can be nested within the curriculum and the chosen sustainability focus and draw on reflection questions as a starting point.

Students should be encouraged to think critically about their change experiments, and do research and gather data to identify the environmental benefits and impacts, advantages, disadvantages, etc.

In addition, students get feedback and prompts aimed at triggering reflection. Teachers can help the students explore their own agency and provide positive feedback through regularly basis.

Experience shows that challenges (regardless of the chosen experiment) tend to become more difficult after a few weeks. This occurs after the initial excitement and novelty wears off, and when the interest of friends and family subsides. Students may also have experienced some failure and frustration. It is important to discuss these experiences and emphasize that this is a critical stage in change processes. Self-reflection about resistance to change and awareness of “change fatigue” play an important role in succeeding with sustainability experiments.

cCHALLENGE is flexible and adaptable to the curriculum, so it can be employed in a variety of school subjects and initiatives.

More information: 

Other remarks:

cCHALLENGE was created by cCHANGE, a social start-up founded by Prof. Karen O'Brien from the University of Oslo