Climate Change in School: Where Does It Fit and How Ready Are We?

Rosanne W. Fortner

Abstract


Research indicates that teachers place a high priority on climate change as a topic their students should know, but report their own knowledge as inadequate for teaching it. Students (and some teachers) seem unable to distinguish among related environmental issues, and treat general “environmentally friendly” behaviour as affecting all issues. The curricular fit of global climate change is best in Earth systems oriented classrooms but opportunities exist across the curriculum; instructional materials are available, though these may not address misconceptions. Some interest groups oppose human-mediated climate change as a curriculum topic, for the same reasons they oppose public action on the problem.

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