Efforts to adapt and mitigate the effects of global climate change (GCC) have been ongoing for the past two decades and have become a major global concern. However, research and practice for promoting climate literacy and understanding about GCC have only recently become a national priority. The National Research Council (NRC), has recently emphasized upon the importance of developing learners’ capacity of reasoning, their argumentation skills and understanding of GCC (Framework for K-12 Science Education, National Research Council, 2012). This framework focuses on fostering conceptual clarity about GCC to promote innovation, resilience, and readiness in students as a response towards the threat of a changing environment. Previous research about teacher understanding of GCC describes that in spite of the prevalent frameworks like the AAAS Science Literacy Atlas (AAAS, 2007) and the Essential Principles for Climate Literacy (United States Global Climate Research Program, 2009; Bardsley, 2007), most learners are challenged in understanding the science of GCC (Michail et al., 2007) and misinformed perceptions about basic climate science content and the role of human activities in changing climate remain persistent (Reibich and Gautier, 2006). Our teacher participants had a rather simplistic knowledge structure. While aware of climate change, teacher participants lacked in depth understanding of how change in climate can impact various ecosystems on the Earth. Furthermore, they felt overwhelmed with the extensive amount of information needed to comprehend the complexity in GCC. Hence, extensive efforts not only focused on assessing conceptual understanding of GCC but also for teaching complex science topics like GCC are essential. This dissertation explains concept mapping, and the photo elicitation method for assessing teachers’ understanding of GCC and the use of metacognitive scaffolding in instruction of GCC for developing competence of learners in this complex science phenomenon.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2016. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Gillian Roehrig. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 176 pages.
Conceptualizing In-service Secondary School Science Teachers’ Knowledge Base for Promoting Understanding about the Science of Global Climate Change.
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