Science Video

Global Warming Debate Heats Up in Science Classrooms, State Legislatures

March 7, 2018 8:38

It’s been a three-year battle in Idaho over whether to approve new science education standards, largely because of disagreements over how to teach the subject of global warming. Some lawmakers argued the proposed science lessons would “spoon feed” students the conclusion that human activity is largely responsible for the increase in Earth’s temperature. They said students should be encouraged to look at the data and come to their own conclusions. But 8th grade science teacher Nathan Dean told Education Week it would be “educational malpractice” to teach global warming without emphasizing the major role humans play. This story aired just days before the Idaho Senate Education Committee voted to approve the new standards, with climate change sections intact. Scott Cook, the director of Academics at the Idaho Department of Education called the vote a “big win for Idaho students, science education and the democratic process.” The Senate action takes precedence over the action in the House Education Committee, which voted earlier to delete some of the sections on global warming. At least nine other states have tried to repeal, block or modify state science standards, partly because of the treatment of climate change, according to the National Center for Science Education. Those efforts have largely failed.


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