Connecting Climate Change Education with the 'Teacher behind the Closed Door'

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Monday, 5 January 2015: 1:30 PM
125AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Michael J. Passow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY; and T. Takahashi, J. I. Goes, K. L. Smith, M. R. Kaplan, and N. Boelman

Handout (1009.4 kB)

After they close the classroom door, most high school and middle school teachers become the “expert” for their students. But when teaching about climate and climate change, many secondary school teachers rely heavily, if not solely, on what is provided in textbooks or highly-produced media, in lieu of understandings gained from research-based journals or participating in investigations. Consequently, they are often limited in what they know and can present to their students. The Earth2Class Workshops at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (E2C) provides an effective strategy to connect cutting-edge research with teachers and students. Monthly workshops held at the LDEO campus bring investigators, teachers, and students together to share discoveries that may not get into textbooks for years. Recent E2C topics have included: ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone and Antarctic climate changes, impacts of acute warming on Arctic flora and faunal, alterations in the Indian Ocean ecosystems resulting from decreased snowfall in the Himalayas, and diminishing alpine glaciers in many parts of the globe. Online versions of the workshop materials are made available to those unable to attend the presentations through the E2C website www.earth2class.org. Workshop presentations provide opportunities to develop innovative curricula models that address important Next Generation Science Standard goals for disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering interactions, the nature of science, and cross-cutting relationships. Networking among educators, and between the scientists, teachers, and students, have enhanced content understanding and stimulated interest to learn more. The E2C resources can provide a way to reach the "teacher behind the closed door," and serve as a model for what can be done elsewhere.

Supplementary URL: http://www.earth2class.org/site