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Climate Change Education
FIGURE 4-1 Four studies on teacher practices and teacher learning that were drawn on during the presentation. Samples vary by geographic scope, sample size, level of instruction, and degree of engagement in climate instruction, but themes and findings are consistent throughout.
SOURCE: Buhr (2011).
resources as websites, books, articles, television documentaries, and movies. Many also participated in short-duration learning experiences, such as workshops and conferences, but fewer have had sustained preparation in college or graduate school classes, and very few have had professional development in their own district focused on climate change.
The other three studies offered insights about teachers’ content knowledge, suggesting that most feel comfortable teaching about earth systems but less so with climate topics (such as the greenhouse effect); emerging topics (such as considering the question of what will happen in a particular place as a result of climate change); and considering scientific evidence (how scientists know what they know). As a result, Buhr explained, many teachers are vulnerable to counterclaims from sources devoted to disproving that climate change is occurring or is caused by human activity, such as the documentary films, The Great Global Warming