Teachers’ Use and Adaptation of a Model-based Climate Curriculum: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study

Foregrounding climate education in formal science learning environments provides students with opportunities to develop critical climate-related knowledge and skills. However, research has shown many challenges to teaching and learning about Earth’s climate and global climate change (GCC). This longitudinal study aims to establish how secondary science teachers, over time, implement model-based climate curricula in support of students’ climate and GCC education by utilizing EzGCM. The model (EzGCM) is a data-driven, computer-based climate modeling tool use to explore global climate data. Multiple sources of data collection, including teacher interviews, classroom observations, and daily reflections, were employed to address the research question: “How did two teachers’ implementation strategies evolve over the three-year study while utilizing a model-based, climate-focused curriculum?” This study provides insight into how and why these resources [model-based climate education curricula] are utilized in science learning environments, thereby informing ongoing efforts to enhance climate education and, in doing so, preparing the next generation of climate-literate adults prepared to confront this most critical global challenge of our age. The findings showed while both teachers engaged in increasingly model-centric instructional practices, these changes were modest. Furthermore, both teacher’s observed classroom practices were less model-centric than the designed curriculum. Ultimately emphasizing the transition from existing practices to improved ones, rather than seeking the perfect approach, the study offers practical insights that can honestly assist secondary educators in real-world settings by highlighting state of climate education in secondary science classrooms.

Steward, K. C., Gosselin, D., Bhattacharya, D., Chandler, M., & Forbes, C. T. (2024). Teachers’ use and adaptation of a model-based climate curriculum: A three-year longitudinal study. Journal of Geoscience Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/10899995.2024.2302788