USGCRP Education Interagency Working Group
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USGCRP Education Interagency Working Group

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Slides from the CCEP Meeting

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  • So what do we mean by Literacy Literacy is continuum of competency Higher levels of competency are built on the foundation of broader more simplistic understanding. At any level within the continuum one can be described as having achieved some level of literacy/competency (e.g., 4 th grade reading level) At the highest levels, a person has internalized knowledge and is able to synthesized information from multiple sources to comprehend and make informed decisions about new situations. This simplified 3-tiered model we are using in NOAA is supported by analogous to levels of understanding described in education theory (e.g., Bloom, Wiggens & McTighe).
  • THE ORIGINS AND CONSEQUENCES OF DEMOCRATIC CITIZENS’ POLICY AGENDAS: A STUDY OF POPULAR CONCERN ABOUT GLOBALWARMING JON A. KROSNICK(1), ALLYSON L. HOLBROOK (2), LAURA LOWE (3) and PENNY S. VISSER (4) 1. Departments of Communication, Political Science, and Psychology, Stanford University 432 McClatchy Hall, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305 E-mail: krosnick@stanford.edu 2. Departments of Public Administration and Psychology, Survey Research Laboratory, MC336, University of Illinois at Chicago, 412 S Peoria St., Sixth Floor, Chicago, IL 60607 E-mail: allyson@uic.edu 3. NFO Ad: Impact, 44 Montgomery St., Suite 2090, San Francisco, CA 94104 E-mail: LALOWE@nfor.com 4. Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, 5848 S. University Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 E-mail: pvisser@uchicago.edu Abstract: This article proposes and tests a model of the causes and consequences of Americans’ judgments of the national seriousness of global warming. The model proposes that seriousness judgments about global warming are a function of beliefs about the existence of global warming, attitudes toward it, the certainty with which these beliefs and attitudes are held, and beliefs about human responsibility for causing global warming and people’s ability to remedy it. The model also proposes that beliefs about whether global warming is a problem are a function of relevant personal experiences (with the weather) and messages from informants (in this case, scientists), that attitudes toward global warming are a function of particular perceived consequences of global warming, and that certainty about these attitudes and beliefs is a function of knowledge and prior thought. Data from two representative sample surveys offer support for all of these propositions, document effects of national seriousness judgments on support for ameliorative efforts generally and specific ameliorative policies, and thereby point to psychological mechanisms that may be responsible for institutional and elite impact on the public’s assessments of national problem importance and on public policy preferences.
  • So what do we mean by Literacy Literacy is continuum of competency Higher levels of competency are built on the foundation of broader more simplistic understanding. At any level within the continuum one can be described as having achieved some level of literacy/competency (e.g., 4 th grade reading level) At the highest levels, a person has internalized knowledge and is able to synthesized information from multiple sources to comprehend and make informed decisions about new situations. This simplified 3-tiered model we are using in NOAA is supported by analogous to levels of understanding described in education theory (e.g., Bloom, Wiggens & McTighe).
  • Let me illustrate this point with a brief excerpt from a video taken at graduation at a prestigious American university. Students were asked where the mass comes from. A follow up question asks them to consider whether the increased mass could have come from carbon dioxide in the air. As you observe the video, consider what the students understand about matter and energy transformation.

USGCRP Education Interagency Working Group USGCRP Education Interagency Working Group Presentation Transcript

    • Interagency Climate Education
    Frank Niepold NOAA Climate Program Office (UCAR) http://www.globalchange.gov/ Jill Karsten NSF Directorate for Geosciences Ming-Ying Wei NASA Earth Science Education Science Mission Directorate
  • Climate Science Literacy is…
    • … an understanding of your influence on climate and climate’s influence on you and society.
    • A climate literate person:
    • understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system,
    • knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate,
    • communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way, and
    • is able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.
  • Obstacles to Achieving Climate Literacy
    • Climate science is complex and multi-disciplinary – needs to be taught across the curriculum and through learning progressions
    • Most naturally taught via Earth system science (ESS) class, but...
      • Inconsistent location of ESS in K-12 curriculum; usually middle school
      • <30% of H.S. students take an ESS class, often as a remedial science
      • No AP program other than 1-semester AP Environmental Science
      • Often not accepted as a laboratory science during college entrance
      • Most ESS teachers have limited STEM and geoscience content knowledge
      • <10 HBCU’s and only 14% of community colleges offer ESS-like degrees
      • 83% of undergrad programs threatened by budget cuts/consolidations
    • Need standards and assessment strategies regarding climate
    • Literacy implies action: need to connect content to factors that motivate individual behavior, without advocating specific actions
    • Informal education venues are extremely important, but not well aligned
  • Climate Workforce Issues
    • Scientists & Technicians
      • Geosciences community is small (~800 PhDs/year) and lacks diversity
      • The climate research agenda is becoming increasingly inter-disciplinary, as priorities move to adaptation and mitigation
      • The small footprint of ESS in community colleges hampers recruitment and training of a technical workforce
    • Educators
      • Catch-22 situation due to the status of ESS in K-12; need fundamental reforms to increase the demand-side and improve training
      • Anticipate increased demand for informal educators with climate expertise; how do we control quality?
    • Policymakers
      • Unclear whether we have evidence-based effective strategies for providing professional development to this community
  • Advancing climate literacy – Interagency efforts
    •   Use the “Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science” (Version 2, March 2009) framework to organize resource development. (NOAA, NSF, NASA grant coordination)
    • Establish a voluntary national climate education curriculum for K-16. (NOAA and NSF grants)
    • Continue investments in climate education research that lead to more effective strategies. (2010 NSF grant)
    • Provide a focus within federal agency programs on professional development for formal educators. (NOAA, NSF, NASA grant coordination via USGCRP EdIWG)
    • Support creation of interpretive and educational programs and products that leverage existing outreach and extension networks and informal science education venues.
    • Develop new resources and tools that utilize “new media” and emerging outlets for widespread dissemination and public engagement in climate. (USGCRP EdIWG)
    • Foster development of an agency-wide protocol for designating and labeling educational programs of merit (Climate education collections) (USGCRP EdIWG and NSF funded grants)
    • Establish mechanisms for monitoring public understanding of climate literacy, and related actions. (NOAA and NSF grants)
    Coordinating Federal Investments in Climate and Earth System Science Education -- Developed from ongoing discussions within the USGCRP Education Interagency Working Group
  • Frank Niepold US GCRP Education Interagency Working Group (co-chair) NOAA Climate Program Office (UCAR) http://www.globalchange.gov/ Jill Karsten US GCRP Education Interagency Working Group (co-chair) NSF Directorate for Geosciences Ming-Ying Wei US GCRP Education Interagency Working Group (co-chair) NASA SMD/Earth Science Education
  • Guiding Principle. Humans can take actions to reduce climate change and its impacts 1. The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth’s climate system 2. Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system. 3. Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate 4. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and man-made processes 5. Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling 6. Human activities are impacting the climate system 7. Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives
  • Defining Climate Literacy
    • WEATHER AND CLIMATE
    • USE OF EARTH’S RESOURCES
    • ENERGY RESOURCES
    • INTERDEPENDENCE OF LIFE
    • SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS
    • INTERACTION OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
    • DECISIONS ABOUT USING TECHNOLOGY
    • PATTERNS OF CHANGE
    • MORE TO COME…
    • … a continuum of competency and is an ongoing process.
    Climate Literacy is… Literacy Progression Target Audiences Uninterested and/or unaware Climate science interested Climate science attentive Climate science engaged CLIMATE LITERACY INFORMED DECISION MAKING KNOWLEDGE AWARENESS
  • How well do US college graduates understand important science ideas?
      • A seed grows into a large tree. Where did the mass of the tree come from?
      • What if I told you that the mass comes mainly from the carbon dioxide in the air?