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Climate Change Education

Teacher Workshop on Climate Change

In 2015, we are offering a workshop entitled Understanding Global Change, which includes climate change as well as many other systems that have changed over Earth's history. 

Climate Change Educational Curriculum 

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This project is documented in detail the full circle of curriculum development, teacher professional development, classroom implementation, data analysis, and revision. At each stage, there has been ongoing evaluation to both inform the project and provide better understanding of the unique demands and requirements of climate change education.  We provide curricular units for middle and high school classrooms. 

Global climate change and its impacts on people and resources pose serious societal challenges. The actions we take today will influence future greenhouse gas emissions and the magnitude of warming; they will also affect our ability to respond and adapt to changes, and to reduce the vulnerability of people and places to harm. Educating future generations about the causes and effects of global climate change is imperative since implementing solutions depends on an informed public, for both societal and individual level actions.

This curriculum integrates concepts from the earth, life, and physical sciences as well as the most current data on climate systems to help students understand the phenomena of climate change, the justification for these phenomena, and why these phenomena are both scientifically and socially important. Specially, the student goals that frame the unit and are woven throughout the lesson plans are as follows:
1. Students will be able to explain the elements of climate and analyze the earth's energy balance that affects climate change. (What is climate change?)
2. Students will be able to identify various sources of evidence used to chart climate and apply the evidence to determine the proximate and ultimate causes. (What is responsible for climate change and how do we know?)
3. Students will be able to analyze the impact of climate change on environmental, biological and social systems. (Why does climate change matter?)
4. Students will be able to compare climate change mitigation and adaptations strategies (macro and micro) in light of environmental, economic, political, and ethical impact. (What can we do?)
5. Students will use data and evidence to justify claims relating to climate, climate change, and mitigation.

To achieve these goals, the curriculum has been divided into multi-day lesson plans for a total of 17 days of instruction. The middle school version has six lessons and the high school version has seven lessons. The lesson plans include a variety of both teacher-centered and student-centered activities ranging from lectures based on provided slideshows, teacher-led demonstrations, student-led investigations, and group analysis of data. Underlying these activities is a philosophy of learning by inquiry as well as justifying claims with evidence.

This project was funded by NASA Global Climate Change Education.

This was a collaboration with the Stanford Teacher Education Program