Science Teacher Professional Development in Climate Change Education Informed by the Next Generation Science Standards

By Hestness, Emily; McDonald, R. Christopher et al. | Journal of Geoscience Education, August 2014 | Go to article overview

Science Teacher Professional Development in Climate Change Education Informed by the Next Generation Science Standards


Hestness, Emily, McDonald, R. Christopher, Breslyn, Wayne, McGinnis, J. Randy, Mouza, Chrystalla, Journal of Geoscience Education


INTRODUCTION

Current climate literacy efforts are situated at the crossroads of significant sociopolitical, educational, and environmental change. Scientific evidence points to a warming world accompanied by rapid and widespread global change (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013), and many Americans are beginning to directly observe climate-related changes in their own communities (U.S. Global Change Research Program, 2014). In the realm of science education, the salience of climate change became particularly evident with the recent release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (NGSS Lead States, 2013), the first set of U.S. national science standards to explicitly include the topic. Yet, despite increased awareness of global climate change amongst the American public and in U.S. schools, relatively few learners possess the kinds of sophisticated scientific understandings regarding climate change that will enable them to fully participate in society as environmentally literate decision makers (Mohan et al., 2009; Jin and Anderson, 2012). This imbalance between climate change awareness and scientific literacy around climate change underscores the need for science educators who are prepared to teach about the science of climate change and its impacts.

The 2013 release of the final version of the NGSS, "a new set of voluntary, rigorous, and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education" (Achieve Inc., 2013), has garnered increased attention for climate change education. Because standards have considerable influence on classroom instruction (Wise, 2010), the NGSS have the potential to catalyze climate change education efforts over the coming years. Table I provides examples of relevant NGSS performance standards from the domain of Earth and Space Sciences, the only content area within the NGSS in which climate change is explicitly mentioned.3 While the topic does not directly appear in the physical sciences or life sciences standards in the NGSS, standards in these disciplines do address constructs relevant to climate change (e.g., relationships among energy transfer, type of matter, and temperature in physical science [MS-PS3-4]; maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services [MS-LS2-5]).

Despite positive advances toward making climate change a meaningful part of K-12 science instruction, major challenges remain. First, climate change is a highly complex phenomenon cutting across scientific disciplines, including the social sciences. As a scientific issue frequently associated with the political realm, climate change may be viewed as a sensitive topic to discuss in the science classroom. As a socioscientific issue, addressing climate change in the classroom may also involve addressing its potentially challenging moral and ethical dimensions (Zeidler and Keefer, 2003; Sadler and Zeidler, 2005; Sadler, 2011). At times, science teachers have viewed these aspects as problematic or outside the realm of their roles as science teachers (McGinnis, 2003). Second, although climate change as a topic is highly interdisciplinary, much of its explicit focus in the NGSS is placed within the discipline of Earth and Space Sciences (see Table I)- This placement may become problematic because, presently, many U.S. students do not take Earth Science in high school (McNeal, 2010) and therefore may not have opportunities to engage in science learning activities specifically focused on climate change. While this is problematic, the positioning of climate change in the Earth and Space Sciences may also create the potential for a renewed emphasis on the geosciences in science education.

These challenges underscore the complexities of climate change education. They raise critical questions around implications for curriculum and instruction, teacher education, and professional development toward the goal of supporting learners in developing a holistic and scientifically informed understanding of the issue. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Science Teacher Professional Development in Climate Change Education Informed by the Next Generation Science Standards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.