Climate Curricular Connections Identified by Core Science Teachers
Teaching climate change is often relegated to Earth and environmental science courses, yet fewer than one in six high school students take these courses. Thus, it may be advantageous to teach climate concepts in core science classes to ensure more students are exposed to these ideas. Additionally, many climate concepts align with all four Disciplinary Core Ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards. This study sought to determine the extent core science teachers feel it is their role to teach climate change, describe their preparation to teach climate change, and identify connections these science teachers make between climate change and their content area and other science subjects. Sixty-one secondary science teachers participated in this study. Teachers' responses show little consensus among key climate change topics. Interestingly, teachers connected anthropogenic causes of climate change to all science disciplines, Earth science teachers were the only group to cite "natural" causes. Teacher preparation pathways may influence their pedagogical decisions. This study's findings have implications for science teacher professional development providers, science teacher professional associations, and preservice science teacher educators as the results yield insight as to core science teachers' climate change curricular connections and identify areas for professional development.