September 2, 2011

Steer away from controversy? Or grab it by the reigns?

by Heather Falconer

In the August 5th issue of Science Magazine, Sara Reardon discusses the current state of teaching climate change in the K-12 classroom (see News Focus). It’s an excellent discussion on the struggles science teachers face in this country, particularly in the wake of so many politicians denying its existence.  “Climate science,” she says, has joined “evolution as an inviting target for those who accuse ‘liberal’ teachers of forcing their ‘beliefs’ upon a captive audience of impressionable children.”

We’d love to hear your suggestions about how to handle this topic in any classroom (K-12 or otherwise). Do you avoid the controversy so as not to deal with parents and administrators? Or do you grab it by the reigns and teach what the controversy is really about? How do you, as a science teacher, deal with those in charge who have bought into the misconceptions surrounding climate change, believing politicians over scientists?

Share your thoughts here, or on our Facebook page.

Heather Falconer

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Heather Falconer holds undergraduate degrees in Graphic Arts and Environmental Science, as well as an MFA in Writing and an MLitt in Literature. She is currently completing her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, with an emphasis on rhetoric in/and/of science. Heather has worked internationally in academic publishing as both an author and editor, and has taught a wide range of topics – from research writing to marine biology – in the public and private educational sectors.