ERIC Number: ED199141
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Energy Problem and Social Education: Some Opportunities, Quandaries, and Goals.
Allen, Rodney F.
This paper examines the need for energy education, discusses classroom opportunities and quandaries for teaching about energy, and provides some suggestions for social studies educators. Two recent studies show that there is a real need for energy education. First, the Education Commission of the United States surveyed the energy knowledge and attitudes of young adults, ages 26 to 35. Among the facts revealed were that 50% of Americans surveyed do not know that coal is the largest fossil fuel in the United States; 86% do not know that coal is the primary fuel for the bulk of America's electrical energy. Second, the University of Florida surveyed a random selection of adults in Florida regarding energy issues. Sixty-nine percent saw the oil companies as major contributors to the energy problem, only 24% saw scarcity of oil, and only 13% saw the scarcity of natural gas as major contributors. These studies have brought pressure for energy education for children and adults. The paper then goes on to discuss classroom opportunities and quandaries with regard to energy education. For example, one opportunity is that all surveys and national energy plans show that conservation is the only realistic short term way to manage our energy problems. In this context, energy education in schools and communities might make a significant difference. One quandary posed is "How is the teacher to instruct about energy, leading to education and not to indoctrination?" The fear is that the quest for energy conservation will lead to teaching closed answers and habits as good and true. For social studies, the goal of energy education is moral sensitivity and action. Programming by social studies educators, K through adult, on energy issues should prepare us to face those issues and to assert truly human values in our mass, technological society. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Energy Education
Note: Paper presented at the College and University Faculty Assembly at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (New Orleans, LA, November, 1980).