Student OpinionCredit... Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press
Have you learned about climate change in your science classes? If so, what have you been taught about it? What have class discussions about climate change been like?
If not, have you learned about it anywhere else, such as from another organization, club, your family or friends, or on your own? What do you know about it?
In “ Idaho Stripped Climate Change From School Guidelines. Now, It’s a Battle ,” Livia Albeck-Ripka writes:
The political fight over global warming has extended to science education in recent years as several states have attempted to weaken or block new teaching standards that included information about climate science. But only in Idaho has the state legislature stripped all mentions of human-caused climate change from statewide science guidelines while leaving the rest of the standards intact.
Now teachers, parents and students are pushing back, hoping to convince the Republican-controlled Idaho Legislature to approve revised standards, which science proponents say are watered down but would still represent a victory for climate-change education in the state. The Idaho House education committee could vote as soon as Wednesday on whether to allow the revised language into the state’s curriculum.
“We’re hopeful that we can put a final bow on this,” said Scott Cook, the director of academics at the Idaho State Department of Education, who helps lead a committee of teachers, parents and scientists urging that climate change be included in the standards.
The battle started in early 2016, when Idaho was working to update its decade-old science standards for kindergarten through 12th grade, which outside education groups said were out of date. Lawmakers rejected a new set of standards, which were closely modeled after national guidelines developed by a consortium of states and science organizations and included information on climate change, saying more input from the public was needed .
Students: Read the entire article, then tell us:
— Do you think schools should teach about climate change? Why or why not?
— If so, what should students be required to know? Should they learn about the natural and human causes of global warming? Should they learn about solutions? Should they learn about the politics related to it? Why do you think these topics should or should not be included in science curriculum?
— In your opinion, does your school teach climate science appropriately? Would you want to learn more or less about it than you already are? Why or why not?
— Who should make decisions about what should and should not be included in a school’s science curriculum? Parents, teachers, students, state lawmakers, local school boards, the federal government or others? Why do you think these parties should be involved in what young people learn about science?
— In your school experience, has climate change been treated as a controversial topic or as merely a fact? Christopher Taylor, the science supervisor for the Boise School District, says teaching about climate change is “a political issue, and it shouldn’t be a political issue.” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
— To think more deeply about climate education, read one or more of these articles about one reporter’s foray into the controversy. Consider these questions for each:
Climate Science Meets a Stubborn Obstacle: Students
What do you think are the best approaches to teaching and learning about climate change? Taking field trips to observe changes in your local natural environment? Applying climate science to your own life and culture? Considering global warming through math, art, civics, novels and cooking? Conducting experiments to test theories about human impact on the environment?
What are the best ways you have learned about climate change? What other ideas do you have?
Clearing the Air on Climate Education: A Reporter Returns to the Scene of Her Story
How should journalists report on climate education? What is gained — if anything at all — from stories like these? After reading these articles, what connections can you see among attitudes about global warming, politics, economic inequality and more?
Students 13 and older are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.