Climate Change Education

Climate Change Education: A Framework (Resource Links)

Basic questions: The goal is for students to become informed and effective consumers of news related to climate change. There are serious hurdles to overcome in presenting a factual unit on global warming and its consequences. Confirmation bias, fake news, the denial of science, and the basic complexity of the climate system need to be considered. Teaching learners how to discover science based factual information for themselves is a powerful approach.

Ideas for implementation:

  • Learners research each question (possible approaches)
    • write a brief position paper (teacher or peer graded)
    • make a poster or present to class
    • form small groups to develop a position paper or poster
    • learners post ideas and positions on discussion board with the goal of developing a position paper as the end product.
  • Focus questions:
    • Is the temperature of the Earth increasing?
    • Why is the Earth warming?
    • Why do we care if it’s warming? How might it affect me?
    • What should we do about it, if anything?
    • What are some obstacles to implementing an effective response to this issue?
  • Science basics students need to know:
    • What determines the temperature of the Earth?
    • What is the difference between climate and weather?
    • How to interpret Earth temperature and other graphs relevant to climate change.
    • What are the important greenhouse gases and what is their residence time?
  • How does science work?
    • Getting grants, making proposals
    • Peer review
    • Science controversy and debate.
    • The public and acceptance of science findings, and some past history. Determining fake from real news.

American Geophysical Union: Responding to deniers: Simple logic. The above framework reflects this approach.

A catalog of links to some climate science and education sites (click here)

Applications that support learning about the Earth