An examination of climate scientists' participation in education: Implications for supporting the teaching and learning of socially controversial science
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Preparing a generation of citizens to respond to the impacts of climate change will require collaborative interactions between natural scientists, learning scientists, educators and learners. Promoting effective involvement of scientists in climate change education is especially important as climate change science and climate impacts are scientifically complex and are entangled in a persistent social controversy. Using ethnographic methods, including observations of meetings, classrooms, professional development workshops, interviews and surveys of teachers, scientists and students, this dissertation provides a window into two climate science educational efforts in which climate scientists played integral roles in either curriculum development or classroom enactment. It explores scientists' participation and student learning through four stand-alone but related articles that focus on the following questions: 1. What are the implications of the social controversy for the teaching and learning of climate change science? How do the political dimensions of this controversy affect learners' attitudes towards and reasoning about climate change and climate science? 2. What is the role for climate scientists in climate change education? What scientific and pedagogical expertise do scientists bring to their educational work and what are challenges and strategies for scientists' inclusion in K-12 education? The first paper describes the current social context for the teaching and learning of climate change science, and outlines conceptual, epistemological and decision-making goals for climate change education. The second paper explores how high school students' reasoning about climate change science occurs at the intersection of political and scientific ways of knowing, doing and being, and examines the implications of this for scientist involvement in climate change education and professional development for teachers. The third describes how climate scientists leveraged their existing scientific practices and inquiry approach to solve problems through participation in a scientist-led climate science curriculum development project. The final paper identifies challenges the scientists faced in their involvement in both curriculum development projects and suggest strategies to promote effective scientist-educator and scientist-student interactions.
- Education - Seattle