First nationwide survey of climate change education

February 11, 2016
A composite image of the Western hemisphere of the Earth. Credit: NASA

How is climate change being taught in American schools? Is it being taught at all? And how are teachers addressing climate change denial in their classrooms, schools, and school districts?

Until today's release of NCSE's comprehensive nationwide , no one knew. The survey, conducted in concert with the respected nonpartisan Penn State University Survey Research Center, grilled over 1500 middle and high school science . The results may floor you.

"At least one in three teachers bring denial into the classroom, claiming that many scientists believe climate change is not caused by humans" says NCSE programs and policy director Josh Rosenau. "Worse, half of the surveyed teachers have allowed students to discuss the supposed 'controversy' over climate change without guiding students to the scientifically supported conclusion." Scarier still: three out of five teachers were unaware of, or actively misinformed about, the near total on climate change.

Teachers who want to teach climate change accurately and honestly don't have an easy time of it. "There are some great climate education resources out there" says NCSE's climate maven Dr. Minda Berbeco. "But many teachers don't have time to find and evaluate these materials".

How much climate change education are kids ultimately getting? "Not as much as we had hoped, and not enough to provide students a solid grounding in the science. Often, it's only one or two hours in the entire year!" says Dr. Eric Plutzer, professor of political science at Penn State, who designed and implemented the survey. "The good news? Few teachers were pressured to avoid teaching about global warming and its causes."

Still more cause for hope: "It's clear that the vast majority of surveyed teachers are hungry for additional professional development" says Berbeco. "Even half the teachers who deny the scientific consensus on climate change say they would take this training."

"Teachers didn't create the polarized culture war around climate change" says Rosenau, "But they're the key to ending this battle."

NCSE's paper on the survey, "Climate Change Education in U.S. Middle and High Schools," appears in the February 12th issue of Science.

Explore further: Principal plays surprising role in why new teachers quit

More information: "Climate confusion among U.S. teachers," by E. Pultzer et al. Science, science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aab3907

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Solon
2.5 / 5 (11) Feb 11, 2016
"Australia's national science industry has announced that, as far as they're concerned, there is no longer any doubt that climate change exists—so they will no longer be funding research that seeks to prove it."
http://www.scient...st-jobs/
"They will, however, employ scientists to lessen its effects."
Fire them all, useless eaters.

Captain Stumpy
4.1 / 5 (9) Feb 11, 2016
i just read the stupidest quote of all time in that [solon] link
Because the science is settled there is no need for more basic research, the government says
fundamental research is the driving force behind everything, but they are gonna axe it?
WTF?

it is stunning how much the gov't ignored just to save a few bucks
Turnbull's government has also emphasized science that can be easily commercialized, according to media reports.
sigh

sorry, but that decision (and it's logic for said decision) was stunning in it's stupidity, IMHO

just because there are truly stupid people in the world doesn't mean we should ignore the science for the sake of a buck... case in point: pollution, leaded gasoline, radon, ozone, CFC's, etc
jeffensley
1.9 / 5 (10) Feb 11, 2016
If there's a rational, objective way to address this issue in schools, you can be sure activists will oppose it. There is one narrative to teach as far as they are concerned...We have caused climate change, legislation will fix it. Anything else gets thrown under the "denier" label, as used in the very first paragraph of this piece.
Captain Stumpy
3.5 / 5 (11) Feb 11, 2016
If there's a rational, objective way to address this issue in schools, you can be sure activists will oppose it
@jeffe
there IS a rational, objective way to address the issue... it is called THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
by it's use, it means that only evidenciary provable points can be permitted to be addressed, and without evidence to be given, then the rest is unacceptable as a means of refute...

by definition that means that you would have to promote only that which has evidence to prove it's application, reality, or etc to the issue (situation)

this also means, by definition, that deniers (and irrational arguments like yours/others here on PO) are irrelevant and should not be addressed as they provide NO evidence or proof and only cause confusion on the issue (especially with the gullible or stupid)

given that criteria then the only way to promote ANYthing in school is with evidence, and thus deniers shouldn't actually get face time unless they bring proof
jeffensley
2.5 / 5 (11) Feb 11, 2016
"Deniers" have the willingness to be skeptical. There are many flaws and limitations with the science of climate measurement/prediction but unfortunately, because narrative is more important than truth, activists brush these things under the rug. By doing so, you would in the above case be denying these kids an important lesson in the study of the scientific method. By demanding they accept a particular narrative, you would create children that lack the ability to look at a problem skeptically and from all angles. There's nothing wrong with teaching the physics of ghg's and forcing but they also need to understand that modelling and predictions don't fall under the realm of scientific observation... it's more about probability/statistics and we lack a grasp on the all the variables and possible outcomes.
FritzVonDago
2.1 / 5 (13) Feb 11, 2016
It is being taught by progressive liberal socialist agenda driven non-scientist with flawed computer models, government grant money and other fraudulent HOGWASH!
dogbert
2.2 / 5 (13) Feb 11, 2016
"Worse, half of the surveyed teachers have allowed students to discuss the supposed 'controversy' over climate change without guiding students to the scientifically supported conclusion."


Just awful how teachers allow students to think and discuss issues.

I propose a two step process to inculcate the students:

Step 1: Spend a semester teaching socialism and the redistribution of resources.

Step 2: Spend the next semester teaching methods of enforcing socialism by showing the effectiveness of AGW in effecting principles of socialism.

Otherwise, the students may remain skeptical of the political correctness of "settled science" and may even decide that science is not a consensus opinion or blind belief in computer models, but rather evidence based. They might even learn that probabilities based on limited models are to be viewed with skepticism.
tblakely1357
2.2 / 5 (10) Feb 11, 2016
"Teachers didn't create the polarized culture war around climate change" says Rosenau, "But they're the key to ending this battle."

By properly indoctrinating their charges?
COCO
2 / 5 (8) Feb 12, 2016
as this is a faith based issue, the discussions/debate currently in Canadian schools is whether to bracket/spread these tales under the rubric of religious studies
gkam
2 / 5 (8) Feb 12, 2016
How did we wind up with such ignorance in our populace? Do these Deniers all live by political prejudice? Is their need to be politically "right" instead of correct worth killing the Earth?

Do they assume we all have their character, are all SCARED of life, want to curl up with our money and our "things" so we feel safe? Or do they think we are like the goobers who got fooled, suckered, by the two draft-dodging cowards into the Bush Wars?

This is based on science, not your hateful and pathetic politics, COCO.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Feb 12, 2016
I earned my opinion by earning a Master of Science in this field.

I want to know how tblakely and COCO and Bow-wow got theirs.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2016
gkam,

You have a Master's in climatology?

This article was not about the science of climate change, it was about teachers' failure to indoctrinate children to believe in consensus opinion.

It is truly sad when scientists promote indoctrination of our children.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2016
No, in Environmental Management, with an emphasis on energy and the environment.

And if you call science education "indoctrination", there is no hope for you folk mired in political prejudice.
COCO
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2016
poor gkam - a sheeple dressed up as troll with his supposed Masters held high defining his superiority over logic and actual evidence - I would not share what school graduated you monsieur if you value their credibility - but I love all gods creatures even the challenged. We do have indeed manmade issues that are ignored due to the focus on this silly fantasy and industry built upon it - things like fracking - GMOs - the Fuku Flu - tons of real manifestations of man's glory and short sightedness.
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2016
Actual "evidence" like today's story?:

http://nuclearstr...SrdBtGGl

My views on nuclear power and Fukushima come from testing the Safety Relief Valve operation and the Suppression Pool activity on GE Mark I & II BWRs.

All is interlinked, and we cannot address only one problem. Because you are not aware of the considerable trouble ahead, you think we made it up?
dogbert
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2016
gkam,

Read the article. It is about how to train teachers to indoctrinate students.

It is definitely not about science education or any other type of education.

Indoctrination is not science. Acceptance of dogma is not conducive to development of scientific thought.
gkam
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2016
You will see what you want to see. The problem is this one:

"Scarier still: three out of five teachers were unaware of, or actively misinformed about, the near total scientific consensus on climate change."

They are teaching science, not debating.
antigoracle
2 / 5 (8) Feb 12, 2016
The desperation of the AGW Cult and how low they will go to indoctrinate our innocent children.

Want to educate the children. Start with the over 60 lies trying to explain away the Global Warming Pause and then top it off with the BIGGEST LIE of all NO PAUSE.
dogbert
2 / 5 (4) Feb 12, 2016
gkam,

Science is not predicated on consensus. In fact, science has corrected consensus opinion time after time.
antigoracle
2.6 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2016
I earned my opinion by earning a Master of Science in this field..

What was your undergrad degree in?
What it is you imagine that degree qualifies you to speak with authority?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2016
My views on nuclear power and Fukushima come from testing the Safety Relief Valve operation and the Suppression Pool activity on GE Mark I & II BWRs
IOW the job shop temp who did by-the-book validation of a single system off-site (his own admission), and then was let go, considers this experience sufficient to allow him to claim expertise in nuclear power.

George everyone here knows what a smelly lying little psychopath you are.

Why do you insist on reminding them all the time?
gkam
1.4 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2016
" . smelly lying little psychopath you are."
--------------------------------------------

That all depends on where you have your nose.

And, antigore, what is your education in this field? Any at all?
antigoracle
1 / 5 (4) Feb 12, 2016
And, antigore, what is your education in this field? Any at all?

Answer my questions, so that I can tailor my conversations with you.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2016
I have revealed my education. What do you have?
Captain Stumpy
3.3 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2016
By demanding they accept a particular narrative blah blah lack the ability to look at a problem skeptically and from all angles
@jeffe
try re-reading that for comprehension this time... and instead of putting on your "agenda goggles", read it as written- especially the first part
there IS a rational, objective way to address the issue... it is called THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
by it's use, it means that only evidence & provable points can be permitted to be addressed, and without evidence to be given, then the rest is unacceptable as a means of refute
if children are taught the scientific method, then they will follow the EVIDENCE, not the agenda

this is one of your own problems: you read what you think it says, and ignore what it actually says, and assume more than you should while inferring evidence not given and ignoring reality
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2016
The Stump gave me a one for my education comment. Is he ready for a flurry of documents?
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (8) Feb 13, 2016
The Stump gave me a one for my education comment
because you are not arguing from evidence, but from personal opinion
it doesn't matter if you had a PhD... without evidence supporting your argument (and continuing to make rookie mistakes with your comments) then you are simply making a Benni argument (which is: you are better than everyone else and we should trust you, even when you screw up the basics)
need i point out your huge mistakes again? (like here: http://phys.org/n...ess.html )
point is: you are giving opinion and i don't agree with it
can't live with that? try anhero
Is he ready for a flurry of documents?
will it validate your argument above?

always willing to accept evidence IF
BIG IF
IF it supports the conclusions

just because you believe in something doesn't make it true
like here: http://phys.org/n...rse.html

antigoracle
2 / 5 (4) Feb 13, 2016
I have revealed my education. What do you have?

My undergrad is in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Now what's yours?
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Feb 13, 2016
BS in Industrial Technology.

What have you done with yours?
philstacy9
2 / 5 (4) Feb 13, 2016
The number of standard deviations climate change propaganda has from reality should be taught.
Steve 200mph Cruiz
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2016
My community college biology teacher pushed intelligent design.
I remember one time a kid said "the pygmies in Africa had chimp chromosomes" and she completely went with it.
I even got a B on a paper I wrote because there was a large evolution focus.
I wanted to get her fired, but she always pointed out her special needs kid.

These people shouldn't get jobs in the first place
Steve 200mph Cruiz
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2016
Which thinking about it, could these "teachers" be destroying children's future by not only telling lies, but by screwing people's grades and preventing them from getting into exclusive schools?
I realize most these goons are to stupid to think that far ahead, but this stuff does have a domino effect
Captain Stumpy
3.3 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2016
Which thinking about it, could these "teachers" be destroying children's future...
@steve
good point...
worse still, the domino effect is catastrophic

when they "teach" something that isn't supported by evidence and then require you to memorize it sans evidence... then grade you on your ability to regurgitate said lies by rote, you end up with people in religions promoting something as factual while not supporting their conclusions with evidence (this includes pseudoscience, anti-science, deniers, electric universe/aether/intelligent design folk too, as it is non-evidence based belief)

thus we can see the effects of said inculcation today with the profusion of pseudoscience/religious trolling on internet sites like this clearing house of science articles... it is even prevalent on SciMag (a journal) so... 'tis a sad thing indeed
Vietvet
3.9 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2016
Which thinking about it, could these "teachers" be destroying children's future by not only telling lies, but by screwing people's grades and preventing them from getting into exclusive schools?

It's already happened.

"A federal judge says the University of California can deny course credit to applicants from Christian high schools whose textbooks declare the Bible infallible and reject evolution."

http://www.sfgate...3646.php
Old_C_Code
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2016
Giving one's opinion is not trolling.
Like I said before, anyone who thinks a comment section about technical articles thinks it's a place for legitimate peer review is a fool.
If you think opinions are 'trollers', you're just an enemy of freedom of speech. Now back to your WORMHOLES gentlemen.
Captain Stumpy
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2016
Giving one's opinion is not trolling
@Old C
this is true
as long as you are not trying to promote it as some infallible source, factual or supported by evidence (especially when it isn't), then opinion is what drives conversation (and thus, wisdom and knowledge)

problem is, too many of the trolls, pseudoscience crowd, religious et al believe that their "opinion" is better than or superior based upon a personal belief, which is where the friction comes in
A thorny issue in critical reading involves the ambiguous terms fact and opinion.
for more on that, see: http://www.auburn...ion.html

science is about evidence
https://en.wikipe...c_method

so, no, it isn't trolling to give opinion
however, it "is" trolling to assume "any" opinion to be superior to another without evidence to support it or prove it is valid
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 13, 2016
blah blah crapo-la blah you would in the above case be denying these kids an important lesson in the study of the scientific method. By demanding they accept a particular narrative, you would create children that blah blah blah horsesh*t blah.
one last point @jeffe
the problem is not that there are no skeptics... but that children are being taught something that is not supported by evidence because their teachers are epic failures WRT critical thinking skills and therefore can't teach critical thinking...
this is evident in even major universities
take this study, for example:
http://www.lifesc...pdf+html

in the abstract
Recent studies question the effectiveness of a traditional university curriculum in helping students improve their critical thinking and scientific literacy
this is the point, IMHO
the failure of people to learn critical thinking skills (demonstrated hourly here on PO, including yourself)
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2016
Without education or experience, you are wiki-warriors.
Uncle Ira
4 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2016
Without education or experience, you are wiki-warriors.


Actually you have proved on hundreds of days that you really need to try that wiki thing out once and awhile. "Experience" is not much good when your experiences are usually getting something wrong and instead of getting "education" from your mistakes, you double down on the wrong.

The list of the basic stuffs you have the "experience" of getting wrong would fill up several hundred pages of the Wiki-Skippy's articles. And that is just the stuffs from here on the physorg. That don't say a lot about the quality of your "education".
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2016
Yeah, Ira, keep on the personal stuff, since you are unschooled in science.

Sorry I hurt your feelings by being real and proving it. You, on the other hand, are still hiding, cowering behind a pseudonym. But those high-school-level comments are just right for Twitter. Why don't you go there?
Uncle Ira
4 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2016
Sorry I hurt your feelings by being real and proving it.

You keep saying that but it is just as lame now as it was the first time you said it. You make me smile and chuckle Cher. You are entertaining. Your "proofs" were big fun too.

You, on the other hand, are still hiding, cowering behind a pseudonym.

You keep saying that over and over too. And he is just are wrong now as it was the first time you said him. My name really is Ira.

But those high-school-level comments are just right for Twitter

I can not believe you say that with the straight face Cher. You must not read any of your postums. Hooyeeei, talk about the hypocrite who wants special places for his foolishments.

Why don't you go there?

Don't know anybody there. I don't even know if they have a special page where the couyons come to pretend to be six kinds of engineers and all kinds of experts. Do they have that? What happened Cher, they make the fun of you there too?
Captain Stumpy
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2016
Without education or experience, you are wiki-warriors...since you are unschooled in science.
Sorry I hurt your feelings by being real and proving it
@g
when you make these kinds of claims, but then promote pseudoscience with your "experience" and offer easily refuted statements like the following
Please do not give us the "it's everywhere, so it's okay" stuff...
or
dig out the studies showing the intensity and exposure times compared to what we will continue to get if we transition over from Wi-Fi to higher-frequency terahertz
AFTER i linked the study for you
Read more at: http://phys.org/n...ess.html

then you make yourself and your "experience" nothing more than a joke

Ira is correct
you SHOULD start actually researching your comments first
it would help prevent disastrous failures like your THz above or here: http://phys.org/n...rse.html

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