Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition Tom Harris has issued this press release:
ICSC ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT ADVANCE IN CLIMATE SCIENCE TEACHING FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS
Teaching students how science works in the real world and how to come to their own evidence-based conclusions is more important than telling them who is right in controversial fields such as climate change
Ottawa, Canada, June 24, 2013: "As the ‘official science’ of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) falls into disrepute, educators face an increasingly difficult decision when teaching climate science in middle and high schools," said Tom Harris, executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC).
"Should they act as if the science of climate change were somehow ‘settled’, as asserted by activists, and so create lesson plans based solely on IPCC material approved by school boards and provincial and state governments? Or should they also expose students to the politically incorrect but important perspectives of leading experts who conclude that climate change is mostly due to natural variability?"
ICSC Chief Science Advisor Professor Bob Carter, of James Cook University in Australia explains:
"There is now a third option, one that allows teachers to remain true to their profession, while also avoiding conflict with those to whom they report. Using ICSC lesson plans, educators can help students understand how science really works in a complex and rapidly evolving field, allowing them to discover for themselves that, at the frontier, science is a body of debate, not a body of established facts."
"The ICSC lesson plan guides young people to see critical thinking in action, driving the controversy in scientifically healthy ways, as competing hypotheses are proposed, criticized, and defended, according to the principles of the scientific method," said Professor Carter. "Throughout the lessons, teachers will guide students to think critically, to ask difficult questions, and seek answers to those questions. Students will learn to think, explore, and research."
Tom Harris gives some background: "ICSC’s lesson plans are being prepared in collaboration with top American education researchers following the Virginia Department of Education Standards of Learning that "the teaching puts the emphasis on the student seeking answers for themselves and helps them become creative problem solvers."
ICSC’s first climate science lesson plan is now complete and ready for use by middle school and high school science teachers at: http://tinyurl.com/lkm3h3a . Feedback from educators, students, administrators, scientists, and parents is most welcome. Teachers are invited to contact ICSC if they would like to be put on the distribution list for the rest of the lesson plans in the series as they are completed.
Educators and climate scientists have reviewed ICSC’s teaching strategy and our first lesson plan.
Here are samples of their comments: