January 11, 2021

Teachers React To New Climate Change Education Framework

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Middle schoolers at Center for Inquiry School 27 in Indianapolis hold a fair to teach younger kids about climate change in March 2019.  - FILE PHOTO: Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

Middle schoolers at Center for Inquiry School 27 in Indianapolis hold a fair to teach younger kids about climate change in March 2019.

FILE PHOTO: Rebecca Thiele/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Education released an online resource in partnership with Purdue University to help teachers teach climate change in schools. Several teachers we interviewed last year said they struggle to find credible materials on climate change for their lesson plans.

One of them was Lori Baker, who teaches seventh and eighth grade science at Danville Community Middle School. She said she was pleased to see the department addressed the issue.

“To see a problem, address a problem and solve it in a really useful, productive way. It shows, you know, a lot of care for what we do and that means a lot to teachers," she said.

The framework has material on climate change for kids from kindergarten through high school. Baker said getting students familiar with the topic earlier will help them deepen their understanding of climate issues and better prepare them for their future careers — especially in things like STEM fields and military service.

READ MORE: Report Calls Indiana Climate Education ‘Abysmal,’ But State Aims To Improve

Keith Morey teaches eighth grade science at Centerville-Abington Junior High School. He said the framework gives teachers a lot more guidance than they’ve had before. Morey said resources in the framework also make it more clear that climate change is happening and that it’s caused by people.

“When you're teaching science, I don't — we go with the science. And I feel like this sort of acknowledges that a little bit better than we have in the past," he said.

Right now, climate change is only specifically mentioned in the state science standards for eighth grade. The state is expected to review its science standards this summer.

Contact Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Referendum Transparency, Teacher Training: A Look At Some Of Indiana's New Education Laws
Statewide Career And Technical Education Competition Adapts To COVID-19 Reality
IU, Bloomington Renaming Road Named After Eugenics Backer