Brainwash them early and they’re brainwashed for life – is that it? It might be better to find out why climate models are so poor at predicting the present, before pumping youngsters full of shaky alarmist ideas. An obvious suspect would be their built-in assumptions about how the global climate system works, which are widely contested.
The National Climate Assessment, released the day after Thanksgiving, offers motivation and opportunity to bring climate topics into the classroom at every grade level, says Phys.org.
Even the youngest students are ready to learn about climate science, according to Michael Wysession, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and executive director of the Teaching Center.
Wysession, who has co-authored more than 30 textbooks, helped write a position statement on teaching climate science adopted by the board of directors of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) in September 2018. The NSTA has a membership of more than 50,000 teachers and other educators at the K-12 grade levels.
It is extremely important to teach children about the science of climate and climate change, and the roles humans play in affecting them, the NSTA statement said.
Science education at the K-12 grade levels is undergoing a revolution, according to Wysession, with most states shifting to a new way of teaching based upon the National Academy of Sciences’ Framework for K–12 Science Education and the ensuing Next Generation Science Standards.
The framework identifies a small number of “Big Ideas” for the science standards to focus on, and one of these is global climate change.
“The Next Generation Science Standards emphasize children devising solutions to the challenges of global warming,” Wysession said. “But it will take study and understanding, and we need to do everything we can now to make sure that our students have the tools, interest and motivation they need to meet these challenges.”