"Climate Change Education Spreads As Other Curriculum Battles Rage On"

NCSE Teacher Ambassador Rebecca Brewer.

"Amid fierce fights over state educational standards and curricula, one mainstay of the culture wars — climate change — has shifted largely to the sidelines," reports The Messenger (May 20, 2023). As a result, "the overall trend is toward increasing rather than decreasing state support for bringing climate into the classroom."

NCSE's Deputy Director Glenn Branch told The Messenger, "We are seeing slow, incremental, and uneven improvements in the treatment of climate change in state science standards," adding, "20 years ago there was practically nothing about climate change in state science standards, so any inclusion is likely to be for the better."

Branch also offered a taxonomy of legislative measures supporting climate change education, ranging from the merely symbolic through efforts to improve state education standards and to provide professional development for teachers to adding climate action and climate justice to standards and curricula.

Climate change "is not entirely immune from attacks designed to prevent it from being taught in schools," The Messenger observed, citing recent episodes in Utah and Ohio. Still, the article concluded, "There is a chance that the increased focus on other educational topics may simply be drawing attention away from climate as a curriculum issue."

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.