Climate Change in the Classroom: Most US Teachers Are Not Getting the Science Right
Climate change- and what we can do to mitigate or control it- is one of the most contentious issues of our time, and one that seems very likely to have profound implications for everyone on Earth. Despite the rather overwhelming consensus of climate scientists that climate change is real and caused by human activity, a new study published in Science shows that US schoolteachers are not at all well-schooled themselves when it comes to climate science.
According to the study, most teachers, whether because of a lack of knowledge or the complex politics around the issue, spend only an hour or two per academic year discussing climate change. And during that brief time, only about half actually taught that the climate is changing as a result of human activity, specifically the large amounts of carbon dioxide that are emitted by burning fossil fuels. About a third of the 1,500 teachers surveyed taught that some climate effects were anthropogenic while others were naturally occurring, further obscuring the actual consensus. And about 10% didn't mention a reason at all.
To find out the reasons teachers are struggling, please check out this piece from NPR here. You can also read more about the study on the New York Times website here.
Of course, Solar One has the cure for this: professional development training with Solar One's excellent Education staff! To learn more about our education programs and our Sustainable Schools Network, visit the Green Design Lab website here.