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 survey, 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 teachers. The results may floor you.
“At least one in three teachers bring climate change 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 scientific consensus 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”.