Friday, February 12, 2016

Another area where education needs to be brought up to date

Science Teachers’ Grasp of Climate Change Is Found Lacking

By JOHN SCHWARTZ, NYT, FEB. 11, 2016

Most science teachers in the United States spend some time on climate change in their courses, but their insufficient grasp of the science as well as political factors “may hinder effective teaching,” according to a nationwide survey of the profession.

The survey, described in the current issue of the journal Science, found that teachers spent little time on the topic — just one to two hours on average over an academic year.

“It’s clearly not enough time to really provide students with a good scientific understanding,” said Eric Plutzer, the lead author of the paper and a professor of political science at Pennsylvania State University.

Many teachers also provide misinformation about climate change, the survey found. The evidence that human activity is a major cause of recent climate change is overwhelming, but 30 percent of the 1,500 teachers surveyed said they emphasized that recent global warming “is likely due to natural causes,” while 12 percent said they did not emphasize human causes. Half of that 12 percent said they did not discuss any causes at all.

(Continued here.)

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