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National Survey Reveals Many Teachers Misinformed About Science Behind Climate Change

National Survey Reveals Many Teachers Misinformed About Science Behind Climate Change

A new survey sanctioned by the National Center for Science Education has found that three out of five science teachers are unaware of or “actively misinformed about the scientific consensus on climate change.”

The survey was conducted in partnership with Penn State University and included over 1500 middle and high school science teachers from across the country.

NCSE team members called the survey results scary, and argued that it indicates teachers “who want to teach climate change accurately and honestly don’t have an easy time of it.”

Over 50,000 teachers, NCSE says, are telling students that climate change happens by natural process and are skipping over the role humans play in it.

This translates to roughly one in three teachers practicing “climate change denial,” or believing that climate change is not being causes by humans, said NCSE programs director Josh Rosenau

Dr. Eric Plutzer, professor of political science at Penn State and designer of the survey said that often students are only getting one to two hours of education on climate change a year- not nearly as much education as “we had hoped.”

But that is not to say that there is no hope at all when it comes to climate change education.

According to Plutzer, few teachers are pressured to “avoid teaching about global warming and its causes.”

NCSE’s climate expert Dr. Minda Berbeco said further hope is in the fact that even teachers who currently “deny the scientific consensus on climate change” are open to receiving professional development to teach them otherwise.

“Teachers didn’t create the polarized culture war around climate change… but they’re the key to ending this battle,” said Rosenau.

Teachers: are you interested in receiving more professional development on the science behind climate change? Take our poll.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/11/2016

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