1st Edition

Teaching Climate Change in the United States

Edited By Joseph Henderson, Andrea Drewes Copyright 2020
    222 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book highlights best practices in climate change education through the analysis of a rich collection of case studies that showcase educational programs across the United States.

    Framed against the political backdrop of a country in which climate change denial presents a significant threat to global action for mitigation and adaptation, each case study examines the various strategies employed by those working in this increasingly challenging sociopolitical environment. Via co-authored chapters written by educational researchers and climate change education practitioners in conversation with one another, a wide range of education programs is represented. These range from traditional institutions such as K-12 schools and universities to the contemporary learning environments of museums and environmental education centres. The role of mass media and community-level educational initiatives is also examined. The authors cover a multitude of topics, including the challenge of multi-stakeholder projects, tensions between indigenous knowledge and scientific research, education for youth activism, and professional learning.

    By telling stories of success and failure from the field, this book provides climate change researchers and educators with tools to help them navigate increasingly rough and rising waters.

    1. Teaching Climate Change in the United States

    Joseph A. Henderson and Andrea Drewes

    2. Empowering Children to Change Hearts and Minds on Climate Change Against All Odds

    Kathryn T. Stevenson, Danielle F. Lawson, M. Nils Peterson, and Starr Binner

    3. Fostering Climate Literacy with Global Climate Models in Secondary Science Classrooms: Insights from a Collaborative Partnership

    Cory Forbes et al.

    4. Conversations on Climate Change Pedagogies in a Central Texas Kindergarten Classroom

    Fikile Nxumalo and Libby Berg

    5. Teaching Climate in the Humanities Classroom: Building Institutional and Educator Capacity

    Alana Siegner and Natalie Stapert

    6. Climate Change Professional Development Approaches ‘MADE CLEAR’: Looking Back on one project and Looking Forward to the Future

    Andrea Drewes, Melissa J. B. Rogers, and Christopher Petrone

    7. Becoming a Persistent Professional Development Community for Informal Educators Addressing Climate Change: A Story from Two Perspectives

    Cathlyn Davis Stylinski et al.

    8. Working the Professional Organizations

    Don A. Haas and Eric J. Pyle

    9. Applied Social Science to Scale Climate Communications Impact

    William Spitzer, John Fraser, Julie Sweetland, and John Voiklis

    10. Taking Back Our Future: Empowering Youth through Climate Summits

    Jen Kretser and Erin Griffin

    11. Engagement for Climate Action

    Nicole Barbara Rom and Kristen Lee Iverson Poppleton

    12. Creative Climate Communications: Teaching from the Heart through the Arts

    Patrick Chandler, Beth Osnes, and Maxwell Boykoff

    13. Science Alone Will Not Save Us, Civic Engagement Might.

    Peter D. Buckland, Brandi J. Robinson, and Michael E. Mann

    14. Afterword: Facing the Climate Crisis with Courage

    Laura Faye Tenenbaum



    Joseph Henderson is a lecturer in the Department of Environment and Society at Paul Smith’s College of the Adirondacks in Upstate New York, where he teaches courses in the environmental social sciences. He is trained as an anthropologist of environmental and science education, and his research investigates how sociocultural, political, and geographic factors influence teaching and learning in emerging energy and climate systems. He completed a PhD at the University of Rochester, where he conducted ethnographic analyses of science learning, sustainability education, and educational policy. His post-doctoral work at the University of Delaware examined the emerging field of climate change education from a learning sciences and educational policy perspective.

    Andrea Drewes is an assistant professor in the Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling at Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where she teaches courses in teacher education. She is trained as a learning scientist, and her research has focused on teacher preparation for climate change instruction and student learning outcomes in climate science education. She completed a PhD at the University of Delaware, where she investigated personal, professional, and political influences on science teacher identity development for teaching climate change through a narrative inquiry with climate change educators.

    "Climate change is not just the greatest crisis we face, it's also a prism through which to understand the world: politics, economics, psychology, you name it. That's why, as this book makes clear, this can be an exciting if solemn moment for educators willing to take on the real meaning of our moment." -- Bill McKibben, author of ‘Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?’, USA

    "Classroom teachers and educators of all types have long understood that teaching climate change can’t stop at the science. Young people are hungry for action. Teaching Climate Change in the United States is the first-of-its-kind effort to show the breadth and depth at which true climate education – education that engages and empowers young people to take on the defining crisis of our time – is already happening across our country. This is a book to encourage and inspire climate educators of all types to know that they are not alone, but are instead one piece of a growing and vital climate education and action community." -- Rebecca Anderson, Director of Education, Alliance for Climate Education, USA

    "It is encouraging to see a US-based collection address how education can challenge forms of climate denial which limit our collective capacity for action. Research recognizes that climate change education needs to go beyond scientific literacy to also engage learners in psycho-social and behavioral understanding. This book brings this alive through practical examples from settings across the US." -- Marcia McKenzie, Director, Sustainability and Education Policy Network, Canada

    "Anyone involved in improving and expanding climate change education, particularly beyond middle and high school science classrooms, will find the essays contained in Teaching Climate Change in the United States to be a useful source of information and guidance as they pursue their own projects. And anyone who appreciates the urgent and continuing necessity for education for climate literacy and climate action  will find the stories of struggle and success to be nothing short of inspiring." -- Glenn Branch, Deputy Director of NCSE