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Summer Workshop Helps Educators Develop Research Projects to Better Teach Climate Change

Summer Workshop Helps Educators Develop Research Projects to Better Teach Climate Change

Recent studies have found that a majority of educators are not comfortable teaching about the science behind climate change, thanks in part to the polarizing nature of the topic as well as a general lack of support to do so.

In order to make strides in helping teachers tackle the subject in their classrooms, one summer workshop is determined to teach educators lessons about climate change to bring in to their classrooms this upcoming school year.

According to the Centre Daily Times, The Arctic Plant Phenology Leaning through Engaged Science — or APPLES- "gave 15 middle and high school teachers the chance to participate and collaborate with polar research scientists, educators and more.”

Participants experienced authentic research designed to give them a solid foundation for understanding climate change science.

"With support from the APPLES team, teachers developed a research project to incorporate into their classrooms in the upcoming school year,” the Centre Daily Times said.

"The classroom research included things they learned from the workshop, arctic data collected by experts, and it utilized equipment and procedures used by the researchers.”

These kinds of summer professional development programs are part of the critical task of bringing educators up to speed on the importance of teaching climate change in the classroom.

A study from the National Center for Science Education revealed just how important programs like APPLES are; earlier in the year, the study revealed that students on average only receive one to two hours of climate change education a year.

Despite the polarizing nature of the topic, the majority of the scientific community is in agreement that climate change is occurring and is driven by human activity. Over 50,000 educators, the NCSE said, skip over the role of human involvement in climate change, therefore providing students with the mindset that changing human activity to reverse the dangerous effects of climate change is not a priority.

Teachers " might be uncomfortable with their own understanding of the material, or they might not have a thorough enough understanding of the methods used in such research to feel confident about teaching it. We hope to give them a better understanding of the science and its results, as well as the skills to do the same kind of research themselves, to alleviate concerns about teaching the material,” said the workshop’s leader Kathy Hill to the Centre Daily Times.

Read the full article here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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