Navigating Climate Science in the Classroom: Teacher Preparation, Perceptions and Practices

Susan M. Buhr Sullivan, Tamara Shapiro Ledley, Susan E. Lynds, Anne U. Gold
2014 Journal of Geoscience education  
Results from a series of surveys describe dimensions of middle and high school science teachers' preparation for and practices around climate science instruction in the classroom. Descriptions are drawn from 877 respondents to four surveys of US middle and high school science teachers from 2009-2011. Most respondents had engaged in self-directed learning or short duration workshops to prepare for climate instruction while a third had received professional development in sustained undergraduate
more » ... ined undergraduate or graduate level courses. Controversy was cited as the top climate education concern in 2011, followed by the need for resources, alignment with standards and needs for professional development. Some respondents perceive the existence or human-attribution of recent climate change to be false, some accept and wish to teach the evidence that the climate is changing due primarily to human activities, and some describe a desire to teach "both sides" without describing the motivation. The most commonly used strategy to address controversy and misinformation is to promote learning about the nature of science, evidence, and data. Recommendations for supporting teachers in climate science instruction are made based upon the findings of these studies, the evolution literature, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Ó
doi:10.5408/12-304.1 fatcat:rnewmtev4vaitkdv2plfm3afrm