Preservice Teachers’ Perspectives on Global Climate Change

By Robert Bleicher and Julie Lambert.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Global climate change has become an important planetary issue. Despite the scientific consensus about climate change and the potential risk, the media often portrays the science as controversial and subject to debate. In response, we have been integrating climate change curriculum into our preservice elementary science methods courses. Climate change is an issue that is useful for teaching concepts spanning several fields of science, as well the nature of science. For the past three years, we have been assessing our students’ knowledge of climate science concepts, but have begun to wonder about their overall concern about climate change and their views on the evidence, causes, impacts and solutions. A survey on their perspectives of climate change was administered pre and post to taking the methods course to 154 students. This was triangulated with qualitative observational data of students during the course. Before the course, 52% were convinced that global warming is happening, compared to 89% after completing the course. Pre-course, 49% viewed human activity as the main cause of climate change, compared to 74% after the course. Overall, students’ views about global climate change shifted toward being more concerned. This is a significant result and implies that, since these preservice teachers will soon be teaching our youth in schools, this may be a good start to overcoming public misunderstandings about global climate change.

Keywords: Climate Science Literacy, Attitudes towards Global Climate Change

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.65-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 234.403KB).

Dr. Robert Bleicher

Professor, School of Education, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA, USA

Robert Bleicher, Ph.D., is a Professor of Science Education at California State University Channel Islands. He has over 20 years of experience implementing K–12 teacher professional development and conducting research in classroom communication and science teaching self-efficacy. He was Principal Investigator (PI) on a NSF project, Success by Design: Building Faculty Capacity to Improve Curriculum and Instruction, and a Co-PI on an NSF Technology Grant, An Innovative First Semester General Chemistry Course. He has served as an internal evaluator for an NSF project, Language Acquisition and Science Education in Rural Schools, and an external evaluator for another NSF project, NSF Teacher Enhancement Project, Integrating Mathematics & Science in Middle School. Dr. Bleicher is currently the PI on a NASA-funded project, Promoting Educational Leadership in Climate Science (PEL).

Dr. Julie Lambert

Associate Professor, College of Education, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA

Julie Lambert, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Education at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. She has expertise in teaching and curriculum development in the areas of Earth science, climate change, marine science, and oceanography. She has vast experience in preservice teacher education and inservice teacher professional development. Dr. Lambert’s current area of science education research focuses on climate change teaching and learning. As a Co-PI on the NSF-funded Florida COSEE, she advised, wrote chapters, and assisted with the development of the Life on an Ocean Planet textbook. She developed the comprehensive outline for the integrated science concepts and the model for the teacher’s guide. Dr. Lambert is Principal Investigator for the NASA-funded Climate Science Investigations (CSI): South Florida project and a Co-PI on the PEL NASA grant.

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