Just as it is being removed from the national curriculum over here, American school children will for the first time receive extensive lessons on climate change following the adoption on Tuesday of new science education guidelines. However, the final standards were substantially weakened from earlier drafts. This is from the Guardian…
The final guidelines cut by about a third the amount of time devoted to a subject seen as critical to future generations.
They are also less explicit than earlier drafts about the human role as a driver for climate change. “It’s buried at best,” said Mark McCaffrey, policy director for the National Center for Science Education.
The new science teaching standards will introduce climate change as a core aspect of science education for middle and high school students in up to 40 states – in many for the first time.
The guidelines were unveiled at a time when climate change has become a flashpoint for conservative groups, similar to the teaching of evolution in classrooms.
The Next Generation Science Standards are not mandatory. But scientists and educational experts in 26 states helped to develop them, and they will for the first time bring a degree of cohesion to the teaching of climate change, said Frank Niepold, co-chair of the climate education group at the US Global Change Research Program, who was involved in the three-year effort.
“In the current situation the state standards are all over the map. It’s a hodgepodge,” he said. “We are still in a situation where across the country basically in every state students can still graduate from high school and in some cases go through college without learning the basics.”