Climate Change and Environmental Education: Framing Perspectives (Krasny, et. al, 2015)

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How are educators addressing climate change in the classroom and informal settings? In science classes, teachers focus on the scientific facts about rising greenhouse gas concentrations, historical warming trends, and related flooding, droughts, and sea level rise. Yet research shows that knowledge about climate change does not necessarily lead to support of climate change policies or climate friendly behaviors (2, 7). Environmental educators also focus on the science of climate change, but have a broader mission including changing environmental behaviors and teaching skills needed to engage in the policy process. Because of the broad scope of its practices, and its demonstrated ability to evolve as societal and environmental conditions change (5), EE is well positioned to play a role, alongside management and policies initiatives, in addressing climate change. The authors propose four themes that EE programs might consider in informing their climate change programs: advocacy and civic engagement, environmental justice, climate change as the new normal, and collective vs. individual action.

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