PROBLEMS OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE SCIENCE CLASSROOM Kostas Skordoulis Director Science Education & Educational Technology LabDepartment of Education, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Our Research• History and Philosophy of Science in Science Teaching• Problems of the Environment in the Science Classroom – Critical Science Education• Project HEPHAESTUS: HEllenic Philosophy, History And Environmental Science Teaching Under Scrutiny – (FP7 / Capacities)
History of Science in Science Teaching International Links• International Academy of History of Science (Paris)• Interdivisional Teaching Commission of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science – ICSU – UNESCO• International Group Of History & Philosophy of Science in Science Teaching (Journal “Science & Education” – Springer)• Network for the History of Science in Southeastern Europe – “NewsLetter”
“The scientifically literate person is one who is aware that science, mathematics, and technology are interdependent human enterprises with strengths and limitations;understands the key concepts and principles ofscience;is familiar with the natural world and recognizesboth its diversity and unity;and uses scientific knowledge and scientific waysof thinking for individual and social purposes.” Project 2061
Introducing the Problem…• Many scientists believe that human activities such as burning fossil fuels to drive cars and generate electricity are causing the Earth’s atmosphere to warm. This “global warming” gradually changes the climate of the planet. Which are, according to your opinion, the best ways to respond to this situation?
WHAT THEIPCCSCIENTISTSSAYThe meantemperatureof the Earth isincreasing andthe use offossil fuels isat an all timehigh.
WHAT THE SCIENTISTS SAY: From the Climate Change Statement of the AAAS Board, released 2-18-07• The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society. Accumulating data from across the globe reveal a wide array of effects: rapidly melting glaciers, destabilization of major ice sheets, increases in extreme weather, rising sea level, shifts in species ranges, and more. The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now.
International intergovernmental Bodies• UNFCCC Executive Secretary calls for speedy and decisive international action on climate change (February 2007)
LEARNING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY• SCIENCE – what climate is and how it works; – how global climate has been changing and why; – how it’s likely to change in the decades ahead;• TECHNOLOGY – the role of humans & their technology in causing climate change; – technological options for mitigating climate change; – technological options for adapting to it.
Teaching SciencePhysics: energy flows in the atmosphere
Teaching ScienceCHEMISTRY: carbon in fossil fuels and combustion coal ≈ CH oil ≈ CH2 natural gas ≈ CH4 + a bit more so, e.g., burning oil entails… CH2 + 3/2 O2 CO2 + H2O
Teaching Science / Biologyphotosynthesis6 CO2 + 12 H2O C6H12O6 + 6 H2O + 6 O2(Trees are made of CO2 and water!)respirationC6H12O6 + 6 O2 6 CO2 + 6 H2Oanaerobic decompositionC6H12O6 3 CO2 + 3 CH4
Monitoring the Experiment with Sensors and data processing by programmable data loggers STUDENTS LEARN TO INTERPRET GRAPHS
Research• Almost 1000 studies dealing with different aspects of climate change have been conducted and published• So… how do we make sense of all this?
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) • Why was it created? – Created in 1988 by the United Nations Environmental Program – Established to provide policy- makers with an objective source of information about climate change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)• Who is in it? – Governments • Members of the UN • Participate by naming experts and reviewing the reports before they’re published – Scientists • Close to 1000 scientists • Climatologists, ecologists, atmospheric physicists, and others Dr. Susan Solomon, a NOAA atmospheric chemist, an IPCC member and one author of IPCC summary
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)• What do they do? – Review current scientific and technical literature relevant to global climate change – Provide reports on their findings at regular intervals – Reports are designed to be politically neutral and of high scientific and technical standards
How do they create their reports? It’s a multi-step process…
The assessments carried out by the IPCC have influenced global action on an unprecedented scale1. First Assessment Report (1990) had a majorimpact in defining the content of the UNFCCC2. The Second Assessment Report (1996) was largelyinfluential in defining the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol3. The Third Assessment Report (2001) focused attention onthe impacts of climate change and the need for adaptation4. The Fourth Assessment Report (2007) is creating a strongbasis for a post Kyoto Protocol agreement
SOCIOPOLITICAL ACTION In order to MAKE RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS and UNDERTAKE ACTION , students should be educated in CRITICAL THINKING and in the:• ECONOMICS, POLITICS & POLICY OF CLIMATE CHANGE – population growth & economic growth as climate-change drivers – policy options and their impact – actors and interests in the climate debate… – finding a global climate-policy framework that is adequate, equitable, and attainable…
A Brief History of the Events Leading to the Kyoto Protocol• COP 1, in March of • On December 11, 1997 1995, saw the the Kyoto Protocol was passage of the officially adopted at Berlin Mandate, COP 3 in Kyoto Japan. which called for new • In 1998 a new round of negotiations on negotiations on Kyoto were launched at COP more detailed 4 in Buenos Aires. commitments for industrialized countries under the UNFCCC.
History (cont.)• Negotiations on the • Building on the Bonn rules of Agreements negotiators at COP 7 implementing the (Marrakech, Morocco, Kyoto Protocol October 2001) adopted resumed during a comprehensive COP 6 in Bonn, package of decisions Germany, July known as the 2001. Marrakech Accords.
What is the Kyoto Protocol?• In general, a protocol is an international agreement that stands on its own but is linked to an existing treaty.• More specifically, the Kyoto Protocol can be seen as an agreement, which supplements and strengthens the Framework Convention. Indeed, the Kyoto Protocol reaffirms the concerns and principles set out in the Convention and then builds on these by adding tougher, more specific commitments.
What is the Kyoto Protocol: 4 Main Elements• The Kyoto Protocol consists of four main elements:• 1. Commitments A. Specific emissions commitments B. General commitments• 2. Implementation A. Domestic policies and measures B. Land use, land-use change and forestry sector C. Joint implementation D. Clean development mechanism E. Emissions trading
What is the Kyoto Protocol: 4 Main Elements• 3. Compliance A. Facilitative Branch B. Enforcement Branch• 4. Minimizing impacts on developing countries A. Adaptation Fund
The European Union is apioneer in the battle against climatetargets for 2020 to:EU countries have set change – Cut emissions by 20% (or 30% if agreed globally) – Increase energy efficiency by 20% – Generate 20% of energy from renewable sourcesThe EU is pushing for an ambitious new globalpact to reduce emissions
EU: What can you do?Simple everyday actions play a major rolein the fight against climate changeSo… – Recycle – Save hot water by taking a shower instead of a bath (four times less energy) – Plant a tree, at school, in your garden or neighbourhood
EU: What can you do?• Use public transport, cycle, walk• Don’t leave appliances on stand-by – use the on/off function of the machine• Don’t leave you mobile charger plugged in when you are not charging your phone