Conceptualizing climate change in the context of a climate system: implications for climate and environmental education

Research
TitleConceptualizing climate change in the context of a climate system: implications for climate and environmental education
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsShepardson, DP, Niyogi, D, Roychoudhury, A, Hirsch, A
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Volume18
Issue3
Pagination323 - 352
Date Published2012/06/01/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsclimate change, conceptions, curriculum, understanding
AbstractToday there is much interest in teaching secondary students about climate change. Much of this effort has focused directly on students’ understanding of climate change. We hypothesize, however, that in order for students to understand climate change they must first understand climate as a system and how changes to this system due to both natural and human influences result in climatic and environmental changes and feedbacks. The purpose of this article is to articulate a climate system framework for teaching about climate change and to stimulate discussion about what secondary students should know and understand about a climate system. We first provide an overview of the research on secondary students’ conceptions of climate and climate change. We then present a climate system framework for teaching about climate and climate change that builds on students’ conceptions and scientific perspectives. We conclude by articulating a draft conceptual progression based on students’ conceptions and our climate system framework as a means to inform curriculum development, instructional design, and future research in climate and environmental education.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2011.622839