What 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."
The Utah state board of education voted 11-4 on December 4, 2015, to adopt a new set of science standards for grades 6-8, according to a December 4, 2015, press release. Included, despite early signs of controversy, are evolution and climate change.
A measure that would have acknowledged "the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real" was rejected in the U.S. House of Representatives on December 3, 2015, according to The Hill (December 3, 2015).
Two in three Americans think that global warming is happening, and about half think that, if it is happening, it is mostly owing to human activity, but only about one in ten know that nearly all climate scientists agree that global warming is happening as a result of human activity. Those were among the key findings of Climate Change in the American Mind: October 2015 (PDF).
The American Academy of Pediatrics, representing 64,000 pediatricians, recently released a policy statement on "Global Climate Change and Children's Health" that includes a call for climate change education.
Observing that "[m]isinformation about climate change is distressingly common in the United States," The New York Timescalled for teaching students about climate change in its October 10, 2015, editorial.
A new poll on public attitudes toward Pope Francis's encyclical on climate change included questions on the occurrence of climate change itself. Asked "Do you think that global warming is happening, or do you think global warming is not happening?" 69% of respondents said yes, 16% said no, 15% said that they were not sure, and 1% skipped or refused to answer the question.
Two of the three amendments concerning climate change education under consideration are out of commission as the United States Senate continues to discuss a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.