Juneau schools consider teaching climate change

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Juneau school officials could adopt national science education standards to teach middle and high school students about climate change.

    Alaska's Energy Desk reported that the Next Generation Science Standards would provide students with information about the relationship between human activity and climate change.

    Director of Teaching and Learning Ted Wilson said the schools does not have a policy on climate change and the subject is left up to the teachers on how it is taught.

    Wilson said that stream of thought is that humans contributed to climate change. Should teachers present the topic this way, it allows students to later form their own opinions on the matter, he said.

    Another approach is to teach climate change as a debate, which Wilson said he isn't opposed to. He said topics in history and language classes are regularly debated in the classroom.

    Glenn Branch, Deputy Director at the National Center for Science Education said climate change is not controversial in the scientific community and to leave the matter up to debate in the classroom would do a disservice to students.

    The Alaska Department of Education said local school districts decide how climate change is taught.  They do have the information on climate change in the state science education standards.


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