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The Little Ice Age: ORIAS Summer Institute for K-12 Teachers
What role can humanities and social science classes play in addressing modern climate change?

Understanding and addressing climate change is a truly interdisciplinary undertaking. The sciences can teach students to investigate the mechanisms that cause climate change and set them on the road to devising technological solutions. But if we want to understand how climate change is likely to affect human societies, we need to delve into history, social sciences, the arts, and literature.

The Little Ice Age was a period of global climate change that extended from the 15th century (or the 16th, depending on your sources) to the 19th century. This shift was caused by cooling, rather than warming and was primarily the result of natural, rather than anthropogenic causes. Even with these differences, examination of this period offers a way to think about how changes in climate can affect economies, social structures, politics, and daily life. The Little Ice Age also offers examples of successful (and unsuccessful) responses to climate changes.

Participants will come away with knowledge and examples derived from our past, plus meaninfgul questions that can be applied to thinking and talking about our future.

Each session will include presentations by a scholar-experts, participant discussion, and a Q & A period.

This institute is open to k-12 teachers across disciplines. There is no cost to attend.
Winter scene with cloudy gray skies, bare trees, and fully iced over canal through a town. Dozens on people are out on the ice going about their daily business while wearing ice skates.
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