Focus the Nation Teach-In

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 31 Jan 2008 05:00:00 GMT

Focus the Nation is a national teach-in on January 31, 2008, engaging millions of students and citizens with political leaders and decision makers about Global Warming Solutions.

We stand at a unique moment in human history. Decisions that are ours to make today – to stabilize global warming pollution and invest in clean energy solutions – will have a profound impact not only on our lives and the lives of our children, but indeed for every human being who will ever walk the face of the planet from now until the end of time. At this moment in time, we owe our young people one day of focused discussion about global warming solutions for America

More than just that one day, Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America is an unprecedented educational initiative, involving over a thousand colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, faith groups, civic organizations and businesses. Focus the Nation is a catalyzing force helping shift the national conversation about global warming towards a determination to face this civilizational challenge.

A teach-in is a day when an entire school turns its attention to a single issue—when faculty, students and staff put aside business as usual, and focus the full weight of campus engagement on one topic.

The key to a successful teach-in is widespread faculty involvement. Focus the Nation challenges participating schools to engage at least fifty faculty members in their role as educators (as well as students, staff, alumni, and community members). With fifty plus faculty engaged from disciplines across the curriculum—art, science, politics, psychology, engineering, philosophy—the event will involve thousands of students on each campus, and millions of students nationwide.

Faculty will say yes to involvement for two reasons. First, the Focus the Nation model requires them to talk for only 10 minutes in a subject area close to their discipline, and then help lead a half an hour discussion. Faculty do not have to be climate change experts to participate, nor invest heavily in preparation. Second, faculty across the curriculum are eager to be asked. As educators and as parents, they understand the magnitude of the global warming challenge, and are looking for an opportunity to engage with students on this critical issue. And once 50+ faculty are involved, then Presidents and Deans will be supportive. Most critically, thousands of students will attend, because faculty will require them to go, or give them extra credit, because other faculty will “focus” their classes, and travel with them to attend the sessions, but primarily because global warming solutions will be the exciting focus of discussion that day. Using this model, we view 2 million students nationwide as a realistic participation goal.

For high schools unable to build a teach-in, and for faith organizations and civic groups, there is a second way to Focus the Nation: host a screening of our free, live interactive webcast, THE 2% SOLUTION, the night of Wednesday, January 30th. (Showing The 2% Solution is also the way to kick-off your teach-in)