QUT student wins national climate change competition for teachers

17th August 2020

QUT education student Toby Winters has won a national speaking competition advocating for a “collaborative approach” to teaching climate science.

The Speaking UP 4 the Planet competition organised by Deakin University gives pre-service teachers a platform to share how they plan to contribute to climate change education as leaders in the school community.

Toby, who’s studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), said as a future teacher he’s in a unique position to influence the next generation.

“Last year, ReachOut published data showing up to 80 per cent of young students are experiencing climate anxiety,” he said.

“Our students feel helpless in the face of this existential threat, and we need to give them back control over their future.

“This starts in the classroom.”
 

Toby Winters won the national Speak UP 4 the Planet competition


Toby created an action plan called E.P.I.C, which includes educating students, planning future action with them, and involving the wider community.

“I plan on educating and, more importantly, collaborating with my students on how we can fight climate change.

“As a teacher, I will also be reaching out to community leaders to establish long-term relationships that promote climate education and enables students to lead a forum that facilitates action.”

The second-year student, who plans to teach Physics and English when he graduates, said he was grateful for the opportunities QUT provided to help develop his identity and skills as a teacher.

“The competition was the first time I was able to express myself as a climate change educator and I’m really happy QUT had the connections to allow me to get involved in events like Speaking UP,” said Toby.

“The amazing facilities and teaching staff at QUT have really helped me grow and become the teacher I want to be.”

Media contacts
Debra Nowland, QUT Media, 07 3138 1150, media@qut.edu.au, after hours 0407 585 901
Nhi Pham, Faculty of Education, 07 3138 3545, nhi.pham@qut.edu.au

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