Saturday, June 10, 2017

How Can One Teach Climate Change When One Doesn't Know It #Science

The state of the high school art is teachers were surveyed to find their knowledge is not any better than someone on the street.  Since many on the street are dazed and confused about it, the results of the survey shouldn't be a big surprise.  (Phys.org:  Climate change misconceptions common among teachers, study finds)


The Situation:

Recent studies have shown that misconceptions about climate change and the scientific studies that have addressed climate change are pervasive among the U.S. public. Now, a new study by Benjamin Herman, assistant professor in the Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum in the University of Missouri College of Education, shows that many secondary school science teachers also possess several of these same misconceptions.

In the study, Herman surveyed 220 secondary science teachers in Florida and Puerto Rico to determine their knowledge about climate change science. The survey asked questions regarding things that do contribute to climate change, such as greenhouse gas emissions, and things that do not significantly contribute, such as the depletion of the ozone layer and the use of pesticides. The survey also asked whether controlled scientific experiments are required to validate climate change.

- PO

We don't need a drum roll since likely you anticipate the result.


The Result:

While the majority of the surveyed teachers accurately responded that fossil fuel use, automobiles and industry emissions were major causes of climate change, they also exhibited notable climate change misconceptions. For instance, nearly all of the Puerto Rico teachers and more than 70 percent of Florida teachers believed incorrectly that ozone layer depletion and pesticide use were at least minor, yet significant, causes of climate change. Additionally, Herman says that nearly 50 percent of Florida teachers and nearly 70 percent of Puerto Rico teachers think that climate change science must be studied through controlled experiments to be valid.

Herman says the teachers in his study exhibited climate change science misconceptions at a similar rate to average Americans. He says these results are understandable given that teachers are often overworked and not afforded professional development opportunities that would deepen their climate change science knowledge.

- PO

The sentence in bold demonstrates the exceptional power of fake news to create FUD.  There isn't any credible scientific opposition to climate change except one old duffer who may be a Nobel laureate in something or other so he gets touted as the scientific authority of YouTube.  Acceptance of the validity of science became politicized and what's the teacher to do at that point.


The Conclusion:

"Teachers want and need support to keep them abreast of scientific discoveries and developments and how scientists come to their well-established claims regarding climate change," Herman said. "Climate change science involves many different types of science methods stemming from disciplines, including physics, biology, atmospheric science and earth science. Science teachers also need professional development directed at assisting them in their efforts to accurately and effectively engage students on this important issue. Because of existing misconceptions and misinformation regarding climate change, science teachers have a crucial professional and ethical responsibility to accurately convey to their students how climate change is studied and why scientists believe the climate is changing."

- PO

This matter has nothing to do with private or public schools since there's no evidence one gets the job done better than the other given abundant misinformation on climate change from just about every quarter.

The single focus is teachers are not well-versed in the science and they need to get that way to effectively teach.

Ed:  with help?

If need be, yes.  The Rockhouse wants the best high school teachers we can get to turn out the most crackerjack students America is possibly capable of delivering.

Note:  the Rockhouse is aware most kids do graduate and it's hysteria to pretend they don't but the ones who do drop out tend to find many troubles and get a great deal of attention for it.  One way to address that has been suggested previously here before but it goes beyond the scope to get into that now.

The problem to solve is teachers need to be better-informed about climate change or what chance does a kid have of getting it.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your comment that it is not a public private issue has no basis.
The research does not separate the teachers or should into any demographic grouping.
But private schools test higher and on average receive higher % of academic schomarships than public schools. So it would be reasonable to assume that they would dare better if this research was separated. But it was not so no conclusion can be made that it is or is not related to public or private schools

Anonymous said...

But it is disturbing that science teachers are not required to take yearly classes or attend seminars etc to stay abreast of their field

Peas InOurThyme said...

My conclusion is based on an endemic lack of understanding of climate control which is either feigned because it saves short-term dollars to avoid it or they just don't know. I don't really see anyone doing such a good job of it but you have a fair point in also saying adding private / public schools to the discussion here doesn't yield anything useful.

Peas InOurThyme said...

In the source article it says they are overworked and do not have time. I have no recent experience with high school teachers so I don't know how hard they work.

The good Socialist doesn't want to mandate the behavior of the schools since we want them to do it because it's right. There's an obvious need for continuing education with doctors due to the constant changes but the need is more subtle with teachers and it's been overlooked.

Here's a plan which I think may satisfy, well, just about anyone. How about a form of sabbatical for high school teachers in which every, say, four years they go back for a year to university but the university must provide a junior teacher in 'trade' during that year. Feel free to argue about who pays for it but the cost wouldn't be much and the result potentially spectacular.

Anonymous said...

how about a 4 week Sumner class each
year That is what my favorite private school does As they have two weeks off every nine weeks. 9 weeks in the summer
And every National holidays.
Not sure if tjat fits overworked

Anonymous said...

But this is just mental masturbation as you would have to first have get the union to admit that there is a problem. And it lies at the feet of the teachers.

Peas InOurThyme said...

I don't get the overworked aspect either but I'm not a teacher. Your approach may well work better since a year-long sabbatical really would be best used toward a Masters.

Sure, this is definitely masturbation over the short-term but it's policy over the long-term when enough people see the idea and think, yeah, I want that.

Anonymous said...

Masters can be done during summers
Did anyone ever give you a year off to perfect your craft. I didn't think so.
No one did that for me either. I invested in my self as dis you.
One either believes in what they do or should be replaced with someone that does

Peas InOurThyme said...

Sabbatical isn't unusual in the academic environment so it's really not pie in the sky and I do note the military and various corporations will ship you off for major schooling so long as it's something suited to whatever they want. The other type of corporate schooling is generally the three- to five-day cerebral smush type of education which is somewhat effective but brutal in delivery.

The thinking isn't so unorthodox but the implementation in systems which do not already use a mechanism of that nature will inevitably be difficult and possibly not even valuable although there is the context in which we want continuing education for high school teachers so long as it's in some practical form.

Anonymous said...

It could easily be done throughout the year as they have two weeks off every nine week some one week every 10 and longer summer break.
They have plenty of compensated free time to stay well versed in current information

Peas InOurThyme said...

It seems the conundrum is they could but don't ... but ... no-one wants the state making mandates. It seems we need to understand the motivation and I'm not trying to be Swordfish clever since what motivates a teacher to go back to do that.

Anonymous said...

Ongoing learning should be mandated as part of the teacher licensing process.
I would think that it would be easy to get the great teachers to comply. But a never-ending process to get the average teachers to attend. Again getting unions to agree will be very hard.
What motivated you to learn your job better?. Oh yeah self driven

Peas InOurThyme said...

It really wasn't so much the job (honest) since my greatest expertise wasn't part of it. Sysfrogs don't write code but I wrote a lot of it. That situation is unusual but it doesn't refute your point since wanting the better work gig means working for it and that arithmetic doesn't change.

I know you don't like the idea of a mandate any more than I but maybe it is necessary since we can wonder all day about the teacher's inner drive but if it doesn't take the teacher back for refresher courses sometimes then there must be something wrong with it.

Anonymous said...

I love mandates dictating the amount knowledge of my Drs.

Peas InOurThyme said...

There's a whole lot of ugly around mandating things but the situation with the teachers is difficult since maybe it's not likely there's continuing education of any kind.

The converse is the pitch the teachers are overworked and maybe they are; I don't know. It only takes one nailing students to wipe a whole lot of good teacher intentions and there was another hot body who was busted the other day. She was a knockout, too, so ... wtf. In any case, they make the profession smell and make people possibly dismissive of any idea they're overworked.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how a tiny percentage of sex offenders play into this.
Or the ugliness of mandating professional standards.
It is done for so many professions
plumbers electricians etc

Peas InOurThyme said...

I was thinking teachers have been getting some bad publicity due to a small number of them with major head worms about sex and kids.

Fair enough on mandating standards as, abhorrent as they may be, sometimes they're necessary.

Skipping past the basic idea of unions, I'm looking at the Guilds from olden times in which they took great pride in being the best at whatever craft or trade since only the best of the apprentices become masters. That model is still active in Europe today. In other words, they police themselves internally.