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Removing Climate Change Denial from Textbooks: Censorship or In Best Interest?

Removing Climate Change Denial from Textbooks: Censorship or In Best Interest?

As The Nation pointed out yesterday, there is a serious debate raging within Portland, Oregon, after its school board voted to remove climate skepticism from the district’s textbooks.

Almost immediately after the decision was made, opposition was swift, as people accused the school board of practicing censorship.

The National Coalition Against Censorship called the resolution “dangerously over-broad” due to the fact that it declared it will be reviewing any textbooks and end use if material “is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities,” The Nation said.

Many districts have decided to take a stand against denial of human activities in influencing climate change since public perception is largely not on board with the consensus of the scientific community.

Although the scientific community is in agreement that humans are the main cause of climate change and that change is indeed happening, many students are unsure. This is in great part due to the fact that teachers are as well.

A survey commissioned by the National Center for Science Education found that three out of five teachers in the U.S. are misinformed about the science behind climate change.

When teachers were asked why teaching climate change correctly is such a difficult task, their answers made sense.

Not only did they report being challenged by peers and parents when attempting to teach the science behind climate change, they also said a lack of aligned materials is to blame, too.

While many groups may be in arms about Portland’s decision to help teachers get textbooks to alleviate this struggle, the Oregon American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) backs the district, said The Nation.

The ACLU said that while it is important for students to know both sides to a political issue, science class should be based around proven, scientific theories and not conjecture.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

6/15/2016

Removing climate change denial from textbooks: censorship or in best interest of students?

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