A Stanford education scholar discusses how young people are affected by the politicization of climate change – and what science teachers can do to help bridge the divide.
Climate change is one of the most complex scientific and social challenges we face today. Learning about climate change offers rich opportunities for students to learn both what we know about the causes and effects of climate change and how we know what we know. In this article, we describe what we learned from working with middle and high-school science teachers as they taught a unit about climate change in their classrooms. . .
Our first hypothesis is supported by our finding that, at the classroom
level, the average level of student engagement/interaction is positively
related to the average achievement gains on the paper-and-pencil test
of the curriculum. In addition, we found that the greater the
disengagement, the lower the learning gains.
Preliminary Results from the first cohort of teachers was presented at the American Geophysical Union's Fall 2011 meeting.
Climate change is unlike many other topics taught in science. It is politically-laden and may be perceived as controversial in public debates because responses have immediate implications for contemporary human behaviors and practices that extend beyond the realm of science. In this paper we discuss what we learned and thought about in this project. . .
Both scientists and policy-makers emphasize the importance of education for influencing pro-environmental behavior and minimizing the effects of climate change on biological and physical systems. Education has the potential to impact students’ system knowledge – their understanding of the variables that affect the climate system – and action knowledge – their understanding of behaviors that can impact the system. . . .
The climate change community has begun to look carefully at how the public understands, or fails to understand, climate change and the scientific claims made based on data. This study focuses on how teachers provide scaffolding that supports students’ understanding of, not only how climate systems work or the causes and effects of climate change, but also how we know what we know.