Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will your kid be taught that climate change is a hoax? - Brad Plumer - The Washington Post

Thanks to Daisy Skipper for the link.

One revelation from the recent Heartland Institute document leak is that the group is crafting a K-12 curriculum to teach kids that global warming is “controversial.” Heartland officials have confirmed this. So is climate change set to join evolution as the next big classroom controversy?

Things do seem to be trending that way. Joshua Rosenau spends most of his time defending the teaching of evolution in schools for the National Center for Science Education. But a few years ago, he noticed that the teachers he was doing workshops with were far more interested in learning how to talk about global warming. “They were getting pressure from their own communities, from parents,” Rosenau says. “And they were looking for help on how to deal with this issue.”

At the moment, it’s still unclear how frequently spats over climate change actually break out in classrooms. There are some 17,000 school districts around the country, and there’s no set curriculum for climate science. In some states, students might first encounter the topic in middle school; in others, it might show up in high-school earth science, or biology. “The main things we’re looking at right now are state standards and textbooks,” says Rosenau, whose organization is only beginning to gather data on how climate science actually gets taught. But even that’s an imperfect metric — a state-approved textbook might lay out basic climate science clearly, but there’s no guarantee teachers will use it.

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