Berbeco and McCaffrey on fostering educator resilience


Communicating Climate-Change and Natural Hazard Risk and Cultivating Resilience coverWhat are the challenges to creating a resilient and confident educational community capable of addressing natural hazards and climate change in a scientifically accurate and pedagogically appropriate manner? That was the question that NCSE’s Minda Berbeco and Mark McCaffrey addressed in their "Fostering Educator Resilience: Engaging the Educational Community to Address the Natural Hazards of Climate Change."

Teachers, they explain in their conclusion, "would benefit from greater support, both academic and emotional, on how best to address these issues through professional development and other training opportunities. It is clear, though, that professional development and additional resources will not be enough to assist educators in bringing these ideas into their classroom. ... In order to get teachers to engage with these topics in a thoughtful and effective manner, their own feelings and concerns cannot be overlooked. Both their own potential discouragement and classroom conflicts are real challenges that need to be addressed for a teacher to feel confident in teaching a depressing and politically challenging topic in what otherwise would be a fairly straightforward and apolitical science course. The challenges to a resilient and capable educational community are not limited to mere knowledge, but require a thorough investigation of all of the conflicts, internal and external, that can arise by addressing a scientific issue with complex political and social implications."

"Fostering Educator Resilience" was published in Communicating Climate-Change and Natural Hazard Risk and Cultivating Resilience: Case Studies for a Multi-Disciplinary Approach (Springer 2015), edited by Jeanette L. Drake, Yekaterina Y. Kontar, John C. Eichelberger, T. Scott Rupp, and Karen M. Taylor. The accepted manuscript of the chapter is available (PDF) on NCSE’s website; the final publication (PDF; paywall) is available at Springer.