Abstract Climate change education occupies a major node in school education. It is cross-disciplinary and therefore can be a subject challenge for many teachers; its knowledge claims are based on modelling from uncertain and partial data that challenge traditional views of what a science is; its breadth encompasses subject content knowledge, attitudes to the environment, and commitment to action, a complex set of interactions in comparison with most themes; its strong links to personal and communal action, often political, may make development of climate change education in conventional classrooms controversial; characterization of learning is multi-faceted and often beyond the skills sets of many teachers. The research question was: what are the features of climate change education that promote engaging teaching and learning? It used a mixed-methods approach drawing on a variety of written evidence and observations of teacher education sessions. Validation was provided by using perspectives from two researchers in the analysis. This paper draws on evidence from a European Network (Changing with the Climate) and its activities with schools across nations, an exercise with future science teachers about the place of Climate Change Education in the Curriculum in comparison with a published study in Florida and Puerto Rico, and responses to a Manual for Teachers using innovative pedagogy during trials in French and English Schools, and with their teachers. The outcomes were quite mixed, with much positive engagement by established and future teachers in three of the six countries, but highly successful learning when adopted. Using the data from the research on the nature of climate change education in the UK and Florida, the differences can be accounted for by the participants’ views about teaching in general, and about climate science as a science.
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