Exclusive: New draft guidelines for key stages 1 to 3 criticised by scientists for 'abdicating duty to future generations
Debate about climate change has been cut out of the national curriculum for children under 14, prompting claims of political interference in the syllabus by the government that has failed "our duty to future generations".
The latest draft guidelines for children in key stages 1 to 3 have no mention of climate change under geography teaching and a single reference to how carbon dioxide produced by humans impacts on the climate in the chemistry section. There is also no reference to sustainable development, only to the "efficacy of recycling", again as a chemistry subject.
The move has caused alarm among climate campaigners and scientists who say teaching about climate change in schools has helped mobilise young people to be the most vociferous advocates of action by governments, business and society to tackle the issue...
..."If all of these aren't issues for geography classes, then where should they be taught?" asked King. "It would be absurd if the issues around environmental pollution weren't core to the curriculum.I think we would be abdicating our duty to future generations if we didn't teach these things in the curriculum."
The draft contrasts with the existing curriculum: under the heading of geography, there are several mentions of the interdependence of humans and their environment and the impact of that on change, including "environmental change". The current syllabus explicitly discusses sustainable development and "its impact on environmental interaction and climate change".
Esha Marhawa from west London says she is outraged that climate change has been scaled back in national curriculum
Over 12,000 people have signed a petition started by a 15-year-old girl to keep climate change in the national curriculum for under 14-year-olds. Esha Marhawa from Hounslow in west London said she was outraged that the draft key stage 3 geography curriculum for English schools had vastly scaled back discussion of the phenomenon.
"Climate change is the most pressing and threatening issue to modern-day society. Through lack of understanding from generations before us, we are having to fix it. And how can we do this without education?" she wrote in a Guardian blog on Tuesday, which echoed the petition to the education secretary, Michael Gove, on the website change.org.
"Our government, part of the generation who bear much of the responsibility for this problem, intends to not only fail to act on climate change themselves but to obscure the truth from children and young people. It is outrageous that Michael Gove can even consider the elimination of climate change education for under-14s. We must keep climate change in the curriculum in order for young people take on this challenge of tackling the threat posed by our changing climate," Marhawa wrote.
The petition, which was earlier gathering over 500 signatures an hour, has been signed by teachers, pupils and lecturers. One Leeds teacher commented: "I teach undergraduates and study for my PhD in a geography department. Like Esha, me and my students owe our passion for researching, understanding, preventing climate change - the defining challenge of our generation - to lessons first learned in school. The government wouldn't dream of letting young people leave school without a modicum of skills for economic survival. It smacks of hypocrisy that learning about sustainability and building a skill and knowledge base for our longevity as a species is of such a low priority by comparison.
In case you missed this "opposing view" when it was on BBC TV recently, here is the FULL BBC TV Horizon Documentary "Global Weirding" on YouTube: CLICK to see all articles at ClimateRealists for this topic including one from James Delingpole.
Two weeks ago I described one of this year’s A-level General Studies papers which asked candidates to discuss various “source materials” on climate change. Drawn from propaganda documents wholly biased in favour of climate alarmism, these contained a plethora of scientific errors. I suggested that, if any clued-up students tore these “sources” apart as they deserved, they might have been given a “fail”.
Sure enough, an email from the mother of just such a student confirmed my fears. Her son is “an excellent scientist” who got “straight As” on his other science papers, but he is also “very knowledgeable about climate change and very sceptical about man-made global warming”. His questioning of the sources earned an “E”, the lowest possible score. His mother then paid £60 for his paper to be re-marked. It was judged to be “articulate, well-structured” and clearly well-informed, but again he was marked down with “E” for fail.
This young man’s experience speaks volumes about the way the official global-warming religion has so corrupted our education system that it has parted company with proper scientific principles. In his efforts to reform our dysfunctional exam system, Michael Gove should ask for this bizarre episode to be investigated.
THIS year will be remembered as the one where debate on the implications of climate change science became respectable. In this newspaper on December 31 last year we had the views of professors of geology Mike Sandiford on cherry-picking of data with reply on January 4 by Ian Plimer. In February we had internationally published articles by 16 eminent sceptical scientists, with reply by 39 equally eminent scientists from the mainstream anthropogenic global warming school of thinking.
In March and April we read opposing views in articles by Mike Steketee, sceptics Bob Carter and others, and marine scientists Neville Exon and Tim Moltmann on the existence and danger of rise in sea levels. Two weeks ago the ABC caught up with the trend with an informative study of the views and sources of sceptic politician Nick Minchin and youth activist Anna Rose, and The Age contributed with opinion pieces by these two co-stars of the ABC production.
Not all viewpoints in all these items can be classified as objective, but even the departures from objectivity are informative on the culture of the debate.
My concern is that secondary science education in Australia has not kept up with such objective debate. While there is a wider problem with general resourcing and teaching in science education (a "learning crisis" in the words of Australia's chief scientist Ian Chubb) it is especially noticeable in climate change science.
With climate change a huge issue this election season, we should review the latest facts on the matter. In this chart, CO2 continues its rise. The global temperatures, however, have not only leveled off, they have begun to fall. This result is in line with natural climate cycle theory.
If the admission to the school of your choice, be it Cornell, or lets say Columbia or Harvard, depended on you answering this question -- "Given the facts presented in the chart above, is CO2 driving the Earth’s temperature?" -- how would you answer it?
A UK Education adviser has proposed that climate change should no longer form part of the national curriculum for schools. It may come as a surprise to some that it is in fact a government requirement that children should have to learn about something which is still controversial, rather than basic underlying science. But this is simply part of a trend in recent years to teach about social issues rather than impart the core knowledge of the science behind them.
The story was first reported in the Guardian (Climate change should be excluded from curriculum, says adviser) but taken up by a variety of other sources. Tim Oates, the adviser in question, is the director of research at Cambridge Assessment, one of the organisations which sets GCSE and A-Level exams in the England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He was charged by the coalition government with reviewing the entire 500 page national curriculum, which defines what children from 5 to 16 should be taught. Originally introduced following the Education Reform Act of 1988, the national curriculum was intended to define the core knowledge in key subjects which all state school pupils should be taught (the private sector does not have to abide by the same rule). However, from such sensible-sounding beginnings, it has now grown into the all-encompassing hydra we see today.
A review is certainly needed. The range of prescriptive teaching means that non-core activities such as music and team games have suffered and teachers complain of the lack of flexibility available to them. There is no evidence that pupils at private schools suffer because their teachers have greater freedom to plan lessons appropriately. After all, many parents are prepared to endure a certain amount of financial hardship to pay for their children to be taught in this way.
In a disturbing trend, anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education
...The convergence here is, to some degree, cultural. It just so happens that the people who don't like evolution are often the same ones who don't want to hear about climate change. It is also the case that the rhetoric of the two struggles is remarkably similar – everything is a "theory", and we should "teach the controversy". But we also cannot overlook the fact is that there is a lot more money at stake in the climate science debate than in the evolution wars. Match those resources with the passions aroused by evolution, and we may have a new force to be reckoned with in the classroom.
The other significant twist has to do with the fact that the new anti-evolution – make that anti-science – bills are emerging in the context of the most vigorous assault on public education in recent history. In Oklahoma, for example, while Senator Brecheen fights the forces of evolution and materialism, the funding for schools is being cut, educational attainments are falling, and conservative leaders are agitating for school voucher systems, which, in the name of "choice", would divert money from public schools to private schools – many of them religious. The sponsor of Indiana's anti-science bill, Dennis Kruse, who happens to be chairman of the Senate education committee, is also fighting the two battles at once.
PRIMARY school children are being terrified by lessons claiming climate change will bring "death, injury and destruction" to the world unless they take action.
On the eve of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's carbon tax package announcement, psychologists and scientists said the lessons were alarmist, created unneeded anxiety among school children and endangered their mental health.
Climate change as a "Doomsday scenario" is being taught in classrooms across Australia.
Resource material produced by the Gillard government for primary school teachers and students states climate change will cause "devastating disasters".
Australian National University's Centre for the Public Awareness of Science director Dr Sue Stocklmayer said climate change had been portrayed as "Doomsday scenarios with no way out".
Some states have introduced education standards requiring teachers to defend the denial of man-made global warming. A national watchdog group says it will start monitoring classrooms
Reporting from Washington— A flash point has emerged in American science education that echoes the battle over evolution, as scientists and educators report mounting resistance to the study of man-made climate change in middle and high schools.
Although scientific evidence increasingly shows that fossil fuel consumption has caused the climate to change rapidly, the issue has grown so politicized that skepticism of the broad scientific consensus has seeped into classrooms.
Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change. Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to give climate change skeptics a place in the classroom.
Click source to read FULL report from Neela Banerjee