More than half of American teachers are not talking about climate change in their classrooms and of those that do almost a third incorrectly tell their students that climate change is a natural phenomenon.
According to a recent poll climate change is a very low priority for teachers in the U.S. Almost two thirds of educators who are not teaching it say they see global warming as outside of their subject area. However, science-based training is only part of the problem, parental attitudes are also a concern. Almost a third of educators are worried that parents may complain if they teach their kids about climate change.
Other reasons why climate change is not taught in schools include: A lack of materials and a lack of knowledge. Some schools do not allow teachers to teach climate change, albeit a small percentage (4%). Not all the news is bleak, between one third and one half (42%) of teachers say they do teach climate change in the classroom.
Some of the subjects that are best suited to the teaching of climate change are biology, physics and math. However, it can be integrated into almost any curriculum including subjects ranging from algebra to zoology. Current events like extreme weather and wildfires are also powerful teaching tools.
The single biggest reason why kids do not get a climate education in the United States has nothing to do with parents, teachers or pedagogical training. It has to do with the multifaceted disinformation efforts of the fossil fuel industry and their Republican minions.