by Liza ireland, founder
Changing Climates Consulting is motivated by my personal journey. For over 35 years I have taught within schools in Canada and internationally, lectured in post-secondary programs, engaged in the school system as a parent, and pioneered my own educational model. Through the years, each step was guided by the goal of learning to educate for an interdependent world.
As a young teacher, I discovered how immersion in environmental, outdoor and experiential learning makes education come to life and transformative learning take place. As I taught a variety of separate subjects for kindergarten to high-school level students, I tried to incorporate systems thinking and experiential learning within the system. Together with my colleagues in teaching and administration, I saw so many innovative ideas being subverted by the system we worked in, resulting in frustration and many good educators leaving the system. After asking why education hasn’t changed, despite all our efforts over the past 50 years, it became clear that the educational system itself is the major barrier. Rather than supporting the innovative thinking needed for the 21st century challenges we face, our educational model perpetuates the mechanistic thinking that stems from the industrial age it was born in.
In order to design an alternative, I studied sustainable living systems and complexity theory, and applied these insights to education. With the education of my young children at stake, I was motivated to put theory into practice by founding The Green School. This experience provided realistic insights into how design principles of living systems can be used to organize and manage schools, design curricula, and how teaching and learning practices can support and develop transformative education. More recently, I have integrated these ideas into curricula at the university level, teaching students and professionals sustainability and systems thinking.
It’s now time to take the next step. Ministries of Education, universities, and non-formal organisations around the world are rethinking how we can educate effectively in the 21st Century. It’s time we share our expertise on how to bridge the gap between ideas, theory and practice. It’s time we work together to transform education. We invite you to join us in this next chapter of our learning journey!