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ERIC Number: EJ1164153
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Undergraduate Climate Education: Motivations, Strategies, Successes, and Support
Kirk, Karin B.; Gold, Anne U.; Ledley, Tamara Shapiro; Sullivan, Susan Buhr; Manduca, Cathryn A.; Mogk, David W.; Wiese, Katryn
Journal of Geoscience Education, v62 n4 p538-549 Nov 2014
Climate literacy is an essential component of a strategy to comprehend and confront the grand challenge of global climate change. However, scientific complexity, societal implications, and political associations make climate change a difficult but important topic to teach. In this paper we report on the results of a survey of undergraduate faculty members on their teaching practices with respect to climate science and the outcomes of a series of undergraduate faculty workshops focused on climate change topics and intended to support faculty members in teaching these topics. Survey results show that undergraduate faculty members place a high priority on teaching climate science because of its relevance to the students with respect to their community, lives, and potential careers. In addition, the survey indicates that climate concepts are taught in a spectrum of undergraduate classes, ranging from geoscience classes to those in the social sciences that address societal impacts and solutions to the problems created by climate change. Results from the survey and workshops indicate there are multiple successful strategies for teaching climate topics, including focusing on solutions, using local contexts, teaching with scientific data, embracing that controversy is an integral part of teaching about climate change, and employing effective communication strategies that can help address controversy and misconceptions. We suggest that undergraduate faculty members need ongoing support in their efforts to effectively teach climate change topics. The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network and On the Cutting Edge projects strive to provide that support through workshops and Web portals that provide access to a variety of educational materials.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC); National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE); US Department of Energy
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: NA12OAR4310143; NA12OAR4310142; DUE0938051; DUE0938020; DUE0937941; 0127310; 0127141; 0127257; 0127018; 0618482; 0618725; 0618533; 1022680; 1022776; 1022844; 1022910