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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
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CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION

Formal Settings, K-14

A WORKSHOP SUMMARY

Alexandra Beatty, Rapporteur

Steering Committee on Climate Change Education
in Formal Settings, K-14

Board on Science Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                      OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS   500 Fifth Street, NW   Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No. DUE-0956031 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-26016-9

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-26016-7

Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Cover credits: The first and bottom photos are from iStock. The second photo from the top is of the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. The third photo from the top is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website.

Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2012). Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. A. Beatty, Rapporteur. Steering Committee on Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14. Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
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STEERING COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
EDUCATION IN FORMAL SETTINGS, K-14

CHARLES W. “ANDY” ANDERSON (Chair), Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

CAROL BREWER, Department of Biology, University of Montana

LYNN ELFNER, Ohio Academy of Science

JAMES E. GERINGER, Environmental System Research Institute, Redlands, California

LOUISA KOCH, Office of Education, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

TAMARA SHAPIRO LEDLEY, Center for Science Teaching and Learning, TERC, Cambridge, Massachusetts

MICHAEL TOWN, Redmond High School, Redmond, Oregon

MICHAEL A. FEDER, Study Director (until February 2011)

SHERRIE FORREST, Study Director (since March 2011)

MARTIN STORKSDIECK, Director, Board on Science Education

PAUL G. STERN, Senior Scholar, Board on Environmental Change and Society

REBECCA KRONE, Program Associate

ANTHONY BROWN, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
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BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION

HELEN QUINN (Chair), Emerita, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University

GEORGE BOGGS, Emeritus, Palomar College and American Association of Community Colleges

WILLIAM BONVILLIAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Washington, DC, Office

RODOLFO DIRZO, Department of Biology, Stanford University

JOSEPH FRANCISCO, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University

ADAM GAMORAN, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin–Madison

JERRY P. GOLLUB, Natural Sciences and Physics Departments, Haverford College

MARGARET HONEY, New York Hall of Science, Queens, New York

JAN HUSTLER, Partnership for Student Success in Science, Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, California

SUSAN W. KIEFFER, Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

CARLO PARRAVANO, Merck Institute for Science Education, Rahway, New Jersey

BRIAN REISER, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University

SUZANNE WILSON, Department of Teacher Education and Center for the Scholarship of Teaching, Michigan State University

MARTIN STORKSDIECK, Director

HEIDI A. SCHWEINGRUBER, Deputy Director

MICHAEL A. FEDER, Senior Program Officer (on leave since February 2011 with the White House Office of Science Technology Policy)

MARGARET HILTON, Senior Program Officer

THOMAS E. KELLER, Senior Program Officer

NATALIE NIELSEN, Senior Program Officer

SHERRIE FORREST, Associate Program Officer

REBECCA KRONE, Program Associate

ANTHONY BROWN, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
×

Acknowledgments

This workshop summary is based on discussions at a workshop convened on August 31 and September 1, 2011, by the Board on Science Education (BOSE), in collaboration with the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) and the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS), of the National Research Council (NRC). I would like to thank my colleagues who served on the steering committee, each of whom brought deep and varied expertise to the process of planning the workshop. The members of the steering committee developed the agenda, identified and selected presenters and paper authors, and facilitated discussion throughout the workshop. Although they did not participate in writing this report, this summary reflects the insightful comments of the steering committee members, presenters, and many of the workshop participants. The workshop was generously supported by the National Science Foundation as part of the NRC Roundtable on Climate Change Education.

This report has been prepared by the workshop rapporteur as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The views contained in the report are those of individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants, the planning committee, or the NRC.

This workshop summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
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of NRC. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. On behalf of the NRC, I thank the other individuals who joined me in reviewing this report: David E. Blockstein, executive secretary, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, senior scientist, National Council for Science and the Environment; Betty Carvellas, teacher leader, Teacher Advisory Council, Colchester, Vermont; Joe E. Heimlich, professor and specialist, Center of Science and Industry, and School of Environment and Natural Resources, and, Environmental Science Graduate Program, Ohio State University, and senior research associate, Institute for Learning Innovation; Karen Hollweg, principal investigator, A Framework for Assessing Environmental Literacy, North American Association for Environmental Education; Rajul Pandya, director, Spark, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado; and Bora Simmons, director, National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education, North American Association for Environmental Education.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Cary I. Sneider, Center for Science Education, Portland State University. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author and the institution.

I am grateful for the leadership and support of Martin Storksdieck, director of the Board on Science Education and the Roundtable on Climate Education, and Paul Stern, senior scholar, Board on Environmental Change and Society. I would like to thank Sherrie Forrest, workshop study director and associate program officer of BOSE and the Ocean Studies Board, for her support in planning and organizing the workshop. I would also give my sincerest thanks to Alexandra Beatty for serving as rapporteur. Anthony Brown deserves our thanks for his invaluable logistical support throughout the project and at the meeting, and Rebecca Krone for her support throughout the workshop planning and on the days of the workshop. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of the

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13435.
×

Executive and the Reports Office of the NRC Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Through their efforts we were able to bring together a diverse group of presenters and participants who shared their experiences and expertise at this workshop. The insights that we gained are summarized in this report.

Finally, I would like to extend a special thanks to the speakers and participants whose insightful contributions to the issue of climate change education have been recorded in this workshop summary.

 

Charles W. “Andy” Anderson, Chair
Steering Committee on Climate Change Education
in Formal Settings, K-14

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Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems. Each additional ton of greenhouse gases emitted commits us to further change and greater risks. In the judgment of the Committee on America's Climate Choices, the environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks of climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts. A principal message from the recent National Research Council report, America's Climate Choices, this brief summary of how climate change will shape many aspects of life in the foreseeable future emphasizes the vital importance of preparation for these changes.

The report points to the importance of formal and informal education in supporting the public's understanding of those challenges climate change will bring, and in preparing current and future generations to act to limit the magnitude of climate change and respond to those challenges. Recognizing both the urgency and the difficulty of climate change education, the National Research Council, with support from the National Science Foundation, formed the Climate Change Education Roundtable. The roundtable brings together federal agency representatives with diverse experts and practitioners in the physical and natural sciences, social sciences, learning sciences, environmental education, education policy, extension education and outreach, resource management, and public policy to engage in discussion and explore educational strategies for addressing climate change.

Two workshops were held to survey the landscape of climate change education. The first explored the goals for climate change education for various target audiences. The second workshop, which is the focus of this summary, was held on August 31 and September 1, 2011, and focused on the teaching and learning of climate change and climate science in formal education settings, from kindergarten through the first two years of college (K-14). This workshop, based on an already articulated need to teach climate change education, provided a forum for discussion of the evidence from research and practice. The goal of this workshop was to raise and explore complex questions around climate change education, and to address the current status of climate change education in grade K-14 of the formal education system by facilitating discussion between expert researchers and practitioners in complementary fields, such as education policy, teacher professional development, learning and cognitive science, K-12 and higher education administration, instructional design, curriculum development, and climate science. Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary summarizes the two workshops.

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