University of South Florida

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Alexandra Panos, Ph.D., Receives Grant to Explore Climate Literacy Teaching for English Language Arts Educators

When it comes to teaching children about the climate crisis, who is responsible? A network of K-12 Literacy and English Language Arts (L-ELA) teachers are taking the charge. Alexandra Panos, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy studies and director of research for the Center for Climate Literacy at the USF College of Education was awarded a $50,000 Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant, along with Co-PIs Michael Sherry, Ph.D., associate professor in English Education and Jarod Roselló, Ph.D., associate professor in Creative Writing. The grant will fund a study that will bring Florida-based L-ELA educators together over the course of one year to form a network that will meet virtually and in-person. Panos explained, “Climate change has historically been taught solely through STEM fields and remains a politically contentious issue, while its fallout is experienced inequitably in ways that exacerbate historical and present injustices. L-ELA teachers require supportive environments to develop capacity to bring climate change to their unique teaching contexts.” The teachers will participate in creative and professional reading and composing, and inquiry-based climate education guided by their goals and teaching contexts. “We are looking to identify and understand how teachers bring climate literacy to the classroom – how they understand the instructional narratives, navigate the challenges, and build capacity for their own climate justice literacies,” said Panos. The first collaboration for teachers is scheduled for Fall 2024.

Visit Dr. Panos’ faculty profile to learn more about her work toward combatting climate change through literacy in K-12 education.

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About the USF College of Education:

As the home for more than 2,200 students and 130 faculty members across three campuses, the University of South Florida College of Education offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders. Our college is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and our educator preparation programs are fully approved by the Florida Department of Education.