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« Climate video nasty | Main | Will Black react? »
Monday
Jun132011

Climate change removed from curriculum

Apparently climate change is to be removed from the UK's national curriculum, with it being left up to schools as to whether they teach anything about it or not.

Tim Oates, whose wide-ranging review of the curriculum for five- to 16-year-olds will be published later this year, said it should be up to schools to decide whether – and how – to teach climate change, and other topics about the effect scientific processes have on our lives.

In an interview with the Guardian, Oates called for the national curriculum "to get back to the science in science". "We have believed that we need to keep the national curriculum up to date with topical issues, but oxidation and gravity don't date," he said. "We are not taking it back 100 years; we are taking it back to the core stuff. The curriculum has become narrowly instrumentalist."

This is undoubtedly correct, although those who see schools as an opportunity to indoctrinate children with their own views are undoubtedly going to squeal a great deal. Mind you, as someone who finds the whole idea of a national curriculum rather Orwellian, I can't get too excited about the news.

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Reader Comments (40)

BH - you need to correct your opening sentence - the proposed changes will only apply to the National Curriculum in England, not throughout the whole of the UK. In Scotland I am fairly sure that the Curriculum for Excellence (or Curriculum for Mediocrity as some have termed it) will continue to push AGW across a range of subjects, not just science. Not sure about Northern Ireland and Wales though. Here's Mike Russell's take on science in Scottish school's last year:

"Science and engineering are key to Scotland's future economic growth, therefore it's essential that our young people are supported in their science learning. Science permeates so much of modern society - from health, food and technology through to climate change and sustainability issues. We need to make this relevance clear." - source http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/03/01094638

Mike Russell is now the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning in Scotland.

Jun 13, 2011 at 6:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Here's the opener from the official guidance / material for teachers in Scotland on the subject of Climate Change:

"Our climate is changing. The planet is warming faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. Global average temperatures have risen by 0.8ºC since the late 19th century, and 0.2ºC per decade over the past 25 years. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions have caused, and continue to cause, most of the observed temperature rise since the mid 20th century. Millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases are produced every day by human activity. These constant emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere continue to drive global warming.

Whether we can contain global warming to a 2ºC target will be dictated by our actions today."

source - http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/exploringclimatechange/

A you would expect, total bollocks, which was probably written by someone from WWF who was seconded to LTS.

Jun 13, 2011 at 6:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Climate Science has just been relegated from being the gravest danger facing mankind to a level where it no longer warrants being included in the curriculum? Well, I agree with AJC this is another nail and think this is all pretty relevant: this is very evidently the beginnings of a sea-change of opinion in the upper echelons.

Watch out for further utterances once British Gas announce their price increases in the coming days. I can't really imagine many MPs wanting to stand shoulder to shoulder with Chris Huhne and advise their constituents to shop around for better prices!

And it's June, we've just reported snow on Snowdon and it's still bloody cold: it's not going away. The writing is on the wall and now even our educators can read it.

Plan B, What do you mean no-one thought to draw up Plan B?

Watch for signs of panic. Watch for MPs beginning to re-align themselves. Taking climate change out of the school curriculum is a sesmic event.

Jun 13, 2011 at 6:41 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

As if we needed further confirmation of the sea-change of opinion, what's going on here? Further confirmation that the whole CO2 driven catastrophic theory of climate change is no longer beleved.

http://www.eia.gov/pressroom/releases/press362.cfm

Immediate Reductions in EIA's Energy Data and Analysis Programs Necessitated by FY 2011 Funding Cut

•Do not prepare or publish 2011 edition of the annual data release on U.S. proved oil and natural gas reserves.
•Curtail efforts to understand linkages between physical energy markets and financial trading.
•Suspend analysis and reporting on the market impacts of planned refinery outages.
•Curtail collection and dissemination of monthly state-level data on wholesale petroleum product prices, including gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane, residual fuel oil, and kerosene. Also, terminate the preparation and publication of the annual petroleum marketing data report and the fuel oil and kerosene sales report.
•Suspend auditing of data submitted by major oil and natural gas companies and reporting on their 2010 financial performance through EIA's Financial Reporting System.
•Reduce collection of data from natural gas marketing companies.
•Cancel the planned increase in resources to be applied to petroleum data quality issues.
•Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA oil and natural gas surveys.
Electricity, Renewables, and Coal Information

•Reduce data on electricity exports and imports.
•Terminate annual data collection and report on geothermal space heating (heat pump) systems.
•Terminate annual data collection and report on solar thermal systems.
•Reduce data collection from smaller entities across a range of EIA electricity and coal surveys.
Consumption, Efficiency, and International Energy Information

•Suspend work on EIA's 2011 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the Nation's only source of statistical data for energy consumption and related characteristics of commercial buildings.
•Terminate updates to EIA's International Energy Statistics.
Energy Analysis Capacity

•Halt preparation of the 2012 edition of EIA's International Energy Outlook.
•Suspend further upgrades to the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is the country's preeminent tool for developing projections of U.S. energy production, consumption, prices, and technologies and its results are widely used by policymakers, industry, and others in making energy-related decisions. A multiyear project to replace aging NEMS components will be halted.
•Eliminate annual published inventory of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States.
•Limit responses to requests from policymakers for special analyses.

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:02 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

BH - I have just had a wee look around the LTS site, which they/WWF seem to update every now and again. You may be interested to see the a flaming hockey stick feature prominently on the LTS site - http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/exploringclimatechange/thebasics/index.asp and also that they now have a page on Climategate and paragraph on 'hide the decline'.

- http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/exploringclimatechange/controversy/climategate.asp

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

and also a (reasonably balanced) page discussing the sceptic and denier labels - http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/exploringclimatechange/controversy/critics.asp

And more on the Hockey Stick at: http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/exploringclimatechange/controversy/critics.asp - which shockingly includes a link to Ross McKitrick's paper on CA. I suspect there has been criticism of the LTS material by teachers and some scientist parents, and they have chosen to address this by the odd insertion of scepticism. They always seem to fall back on the 'consensus' view however.

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Perhaps I'm being pessimistic, but to me, the "rub" is :-

"said it should be up to schools to decide whether – and how – to teach climate change"

With a generation of left-wing "teachers" thoroughly indoctrinated, what hope is there?

Jun 13, 2011 at 8:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterPFM

An interesting turn, U-turn to be exact!
The Government is starting to reverse its position on AGW, preparing a spot of CYA too, by the sound of it.
"Well, we did tell teachers that they didn't have to teach about AGW, so it's not our fault that they've carried on doing it, when it was obvious that it wasn't really happening"
Now, let's keep an eye on what's happening with the bird-mincers & shutting down coal-fueled power stations.
The Jocks will have to maintain their stance for longer, due to their wish to rake money in, by covering the highlands with bird-mincing subsidy farms.

Jun 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Michael Gove is the one MP I bothered with my opinions by email before the election. He replied to this and that but never bothered to challenge my views on AGW. I take this latest announcement as quite an important signal, even though I agree with the Bish that a national curriculum should be unnecessary, once there's proper competition in the schools sector, with decent quality available to all.

Jun 13, 2011 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I was delighted to read this news item and to find this advisor has decided that a return to first principles in science is needed. The news reeks of good sense and sound educational practice, which is refreshing, to say the least.
Bish, it surprised me that you see a National Curriculum as 'Orwellian' and made me think hard about the NC in various English-speaking countries; as a retired teacher, I have to agree. The Marxist influence upon State education in the English-speaking world has grown considerably over the years, but in New Zealand, which has a much more egaliatrion society than the UK every school, without exception, must follow the NC which tends to reflect the national political flavour, unlike the UK, where Public (fee-paying private) schools can 'do their own thing'. In my experience, the English NC which all English State schools must follow, is far more prescriptive than the NZ NC and UK politicians interfere in State education here by imposing frequent ill-advised 'initiatives' and by insisting on a far greater level of central control. In NZ, teachers have the freedom to use their professional judgement about how they meet the demands of the NC for the individual year groups. Also, there is only one State organisation in NZ that sets and marks national examinations. The current NZ government is attempting to change the national testing regime in schools to more closely follow the English model, which I and most NZ teachers consider a retrograde step, but the current NZ Prime Minister is a former very successful international merchant banker, who rose from very humble beginnings in a one-parent family in suburban NZ and sees everything about the UK State education system as admirable when much of it is not, in my view. The great irony about Stae education in the UK is that the very politicians who impose themselves upon State education tend to send their offspring to non-State schools where the ministerial directives are largely ignored.
I have taught in both systems at a senior level, so I feel my opinion is formed from experience at least.
To borrow a phrase, 'English politicians (and the NZ PM) think that one fattens pigs by weighing them frequently.'

Jun 13, 2011 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

As things are starting to move our way (slightly), I think we must be prepared for a virulent counter-attack.

Jun 13, 2011 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterPFM

A very welcome development. Raising this as a desirable possibility may at the very least provoke discussion and clarification of the extent of corruption of education in the pursuit of political goals, not least the abrubt transformation of society - that generations-old dream of leftwingers everywhere. A dream that has always, 100% record, turned into a nightmare when such people get absolute power, and into a shocking waste of spirits and resources whenever they have appreciable influence.

Jun 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

'abrupt'

Jun 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

I was very cheered to hear this on the radio, especially the remark about oxidation and gravity, which is bleeding obvious when stated. I'm with the Bishop on the curriculum, too - if teachers are properly trained to teach a subject ( a big IF, I grant you), then they should be allowed to get on with it. Wasn't that what used to happen? I was looking at Dr Martin Stephen's 11-plus book recently and the standard of some questions there were above modern GCSE level.

Jun 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

There ought to be no place in the Science curriculum for climate alarmism. There are many worthy science topics that do not have a place or are not covered in much depth. Adding the shaky science, authoritarianism, and politics of "climate change" go against the very ideals of what science is.

The "hidden curriculum" can be, and is, implemented throughout almost every other school activity.

@PFM - With a generation of left-wing "teachers" thoroughly indoctrinated, what hope is there?

The teachers I had were all genuinely excited to teach science, hopefully this is still the case in most science departments though I expect there are increasing numbers of creationists and other ideologists.

Jun 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterBoris

PFM: As things are starting to move our way (slightly), I think we must be prepared for a virulent counter-attack.

Actually, although I have conventional views on climate change, I think that teachers should be encouraged to teach students to think for themselves on the topic. Any "counter-attack" should be based on an assessment of the motives by Tim Oates and the cogency of his reasons, but I'm sure some will see this as an attack on climate science (which it isn't).

Jun 13, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul haynes

Hmm...

But Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, warned that Oates' ideas might not be in pupils' best interests and could make science less interesting for children.

"An emphasis on climate change in the curriculum connects the core scientific concepts to topical issues," he said. "Certain politicians feel that they don't like the concept of climate change. I hope this isn't a sign of a political agenda being exercised."

He said leaving climate change out of the national curriculum might encourage a teacher who was a climate change sceptic to abandon teaching the subject to their pupils. "This would not be in the best interests of pupils. It would be like a creationist teacher not teaching about evolution. Climate change is about science. If you remove the context of scientific concepts, you make it less interesting to children."

Jun 13, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Here is further confirmation of the sea change in opinion:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jun/10/caroline-spelman-nature


The first white paper on the natural environment comes along after 21 years and you would think that the secretary of state or any one of her many junior ministers, or indeed someone, anyone, in the government department responsible – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – might want to say something to the public. The 85-page document is, after all, meant to redefine our relationship with nature for the next 50 years.

But no. The report was put on the web straight after it was presented to parliament at 10.30 on Tuesday morning and that was it.

Two explanations are possible.

1. Defra lost its confidence after the forestry debacle and its panjandrums are panic-stricken about bad publicity.

2. The other explanation is that the white paper is politically dangerous and if the real message it contains gets out, then the Daily Mail and middle England will react just as crossly as it did with the department's plan to sell off the forests.

Jun 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

You may remember how, back in 2007, a chap called Dimmock won a court order forcing would-be distributors of Al Gore's dreadful film about "climate change" to schools in England and Wales also to include material redressing at least some of the film's more obvious howlers.

Up here, the Nats refused to insist on the distribution of correctional material on the grounds that the ruling didn't apply in Scotland. Legally, this may well be correct - Scotland has, of course, its own legal system. However, last time I looked, it did not have its own laws of physics.

Distribution of the film to Scottish schools went ahead. The exercise was sponsored by ScottishPower.

In short, ScottishPower was given the green light by the Nats to teach our kids a bunch of mendacious crap posing as science. What I'd call "A Convenient Pack of Lies". We've sunk pretty low since the days of James Clerk Maxwell.

Jun 13, 2011 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

Good to see - but I feel too late. In terms of message penetration it's mission accomplished.

The AGW message pervades the education system in the most damaging fashion that is imaginable - in primary and junior schools which were targeted early on. The propagandising is still epic and it will take a generation to subdue. In my part of the UK (SW) the educational eco activists have ducked under the public visibility radar but are still spouting their poison to our kids.

Young children are easy to scare and in many cases the results are life long.

I know I'm not alone in feeling vindictive towards the perpetrators of this. A simple Google search will show that "usual suspects" eco activism is still targeting our children - regardless of what's on the curriculum.


BTW this turned up in my Google results - a program to model Global Warming for educators and students. I thought it of interest as even the experts seem to have pronlems with ahem... computer models.....

Jun 13, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

BBD

I was going to comment on your quotation from Bob 'Mavis Beacon' Ward, but find I am lost for words. You really couldn't make it up.

Jun 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

James P, I am not lost for words when it comes to the painfully silly and alarmist Bob Ward, who as 'attack dog' for the Grantham Institute is more like a mad miniature poodle than a dog that could induce any kind of fear. His latest ridiculous slavering demonstrates his ignorance of education in a democratic state and doesn't say much for his grasp of science, either.

Jun 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Mr. Ward's concerns about any political agenda in science being deployed could haunt him, as I am pretty sure he has been and is pretty much neck deep in advocating just that ever since climate needed a talking head on Newsnight.

Maybe he feels some agendas are more politically valid than others?

The rest of his quoted comments are... noted.

Jun 13, 2011 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

@Tom. From the first few pages of your link, this is what we are up against:

Propaganda as entertainment:
Environmental Show for Schools"The Curse of The Grabbers!"
A fairytale adventure in which the audience becomes involved in a quest to stop the Grabbers from destroying the planet in order to build factories to make things we don't need.
http://www.paradoxtheatre.co.uk/

Frighten them:
Primary-aged children worry daily about global warming and terrorism as well as their friendships and passing the next exam, according to a report based on 700 in-depth interviews with children, their teachers and parents.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/oct/12/politics.schools

No conformity, no money: from a jargon- filled parliamentary memorandum
For the purpose of ensuring a sustained Greenhouse and Clean development mechanism there is need to integrate Green primary education to the young generation of the recipient trading nation in the master plan for the purpose of sensitising a new environmental friendly generation that will push forward the Green / House movement. There is therefore need to engage the Educational alliances and professionals to formulate a strategic primary framework to develop force of a population joining partnership to combat global warming
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200607/jtselect/jtclimate/memo/ccb0302.htm

Mixed messages getting through, from various pupils doing a UK primary school climate change project:
Climate change will cause bad weather like the seas growing to make floods and tornadoes around the UK.....The UK could have very hot summers and torrential winters... Climate change means a change in the average temperature and weather causing the ice caps up north melting increasing the sea levels putting countries under water...If we carry on polluting the earth icecaps will melt putting london under water and shropshire might even become a coastline. They say if climate change carries on a new ice age will happen in only 500 years...

Back to work, John Shade, your country needs you (Climate Lessons blog- see Bishop's blog links)

Jun 13, 2011 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

BBD Do you think there is any general awareness of the IFR idea (cancelled by Clinton in the 1990s as being surplus to requirements). If not here's a repeat of my recent post (12 June) which appeared on the ZBD discussion thread.

"The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), developed at U.S. national laboratories in the latter years of the last century, can economically and cleanly supply all the energy the world needs without any further mining or enrichment of uranium. Instead of utilizing a mere 0.6% of the potential energy in uranium, IFRs capture all of it. Capable of utilizing troublesome waste products already at hand, IFRs can solve the thorny spent fuel problem while powering the planet with carbon-free energy for nearly a millennium before any more uranium mining would even have to be considered. Designed from the outset for unparalleled safety and proliferation resistance, with all major features proven out at the engineering scale, this technology is unrivaled in its ability to solve the most difficult energy problems facing humanity in the 21st century." See http://theenergycollective.com/barrybrook/50850/ifr-optimized-approach-meeting-global-energy-needs-part-i

Jun 13, 2011 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJasper Gee

Jasper Gee

No. I don't think 'the woman in the street' has a clue about IFR. Most people just equate 'nuclear' with 'radiation' and Chernobyl. And now Fukushima 1.

Hardly anyone seems aware that new generation nuclear plant is safer, more efficient and produces less waste than the ageing installed base that dates back 20 - 40 years. Which is a shame.

(BTW, we should probably jump to the 'Beddington against thorium?' thread above).

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

You flatter me, Messenger (5:00pm)! I am managing less than an hour a day on climate matters just now, and that is not enough for my slow brain to cobble together posts. However, I think that the time slot, if not my brain, will enlarge soon and I'll get back to adding my tuppence worth to the struggle. Thanks again! Reading of such sensible remarks from a government adviser has been quite astonishing, and encouraging. But I agree with the comment of Tom (1:52pm): 'Good to see - but I feel too late. In terms of message penetration it's mission accomplished.

The AGW message pervades the education system in the most damaging fashion that is imaginable - in primary and junior schools which were targeted early on.'

There is a lot of work of many kinds to be done, from the pastoral to the poltical to help reduce the personal and the public damage of this shameful episode in education. I aim to post some suggestions on my next blog post.

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Messenger

indeed - the levels of activism if anything, I feel - have increased.

I only started looking at this about a year ago when the local Gannet Media/Newsquest rags started running educational eco-activist puff pieces laden with ludicrous claims about climate made by "childrens authors" and "educational consultants" - I was astonished at the extent of their propagandising.

They haven't stopped - they've simply decided to concentrate their efforts on their captive and malleable target audience and where at all possible avoid the inconvenience of having to answer awkward questions from informed adults. It's wretched fact free alarmism stuff.

Jun 13, 2011 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

An example of what one children's author has been doing.

http://www.electric.co.uk/news/london-city-told-to-focus-on-climate-change-12341718.html

"This response [to Boris Johnson's global warming campaign 2010] comes also as Darren Shan, who is a top author, has been encouraging young people in London to do more to tackle climate change. Speaking at the London Zoo, Mr Shan put a lighthearted spin on climate change. He said that if London gets hotter and drier, everyone will sweat more. The city will stink of sweaty armpits and feet and other body bits....

He went on to say that, unless people like to sweat and like the smell of other peoples’ sweat, then it is time to start walking wherever people can. Use public transportation. People should also recycle and should not waste water or energy. These things are not rocket science. These are just easy things that people can do to make London a better place. The world is in bad shape, and it seems like a lot of people simply do not care. These people are going to carry on and be as reckless as they were before, people in London do not need to be these kinds of people."

Jun 13, 2011 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

The hair shirt brigade too and if you don't join us and sing along you're reckless and irresponsible.

Love it.

Wonderful stuff.

On the topic of Gannet Media and Newsquest since I travel quite a bit I get to see quite a bit of their abysmal output.

There is an eerie slant on their climate / AGW reporting and features across the empire. I can't recall a single article mentioning the doubts about AGW and plenty of pumping the party line. Happy to stand corrected - but although not a strident and toxic as the Guardian, they are from what I've seen - "committed to the consensus" and boost eco nonsense and CO2 alarmism in our local newspapers. The editorial guidelines obviously don't cover balance - at all.

Jun 13, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

Sorry, didn't realise until now that Gove is a product of Scotland...

Lapogus is right to draw attention to the Curriculum for Excellence. Similar outcome based systems are appearing all over the world and whatever Gove and his ilk give Guardian readers to chatter about, it's pretty obvious where the curriculum reform is headed.

http://www.ewf2011.org/press.html

Here's our Mike Russell:

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/WhyGlobalCitizenship_tcm4-633130.pdf

“Curriculum for Excellence is transforming learning to prepare
young people for the social, economic and environmental
challenges of the 21st century. This process is part of an
international project: the four capacities of Curriculum for
Excellence mirror UNESCO’s ‘Four Pillars’ of education: learning
to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live
together (Learning: the Treasure Within’ UNESCO 1996). ”

This deliberate dumbing down is only going to get worse. You can read Charlotte Iserbyt on this here:

http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

For a short introduction, watch here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDyDtYy2I0M

The green agenda is absolutely central to global education policy and a bit weird too if you ask me...

http://green-agenda.com/spiritualunitednations.html

Jun 13, 2011 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered Commentersheila struthers

We may be looking at this the wrong way. Giving the schools the opportunity to do as they wish may mean that the teachers can do as they wish. This could be far worse than what you have now.

Jun 14, 2011 at 5:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterSera

Sera, most teachers I have worked with over the past few decades want a number of things; top of their list is usually a respectable learning success rate, however that's measured, the second is to see their students develop as healthy, responsible, happy, successful and fully-functioning people. Teachers, like any other large group in any society, has its incompetents, its criminals and its utter saints. Assuming that most teachers will act badly is an unrealistic and unwarrantedly negative view, in my personal experience. Most teachers will bust a gut to help their charges succeed, but the few rotten apples in the education barrel will always get the lion's share of publicity.

Jun 14, 2011 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

'Most teachers will bust a gut to help their charges succeed, but the few rotten apples in the education barrel will always get the lion's share of publicity.

Alexander K - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:03 AM'

My experience too, in the main. However, there is perhaps a distinction to be drawn between what the individual would like and what they are capable of doing, especially when careers depend on many things, especially conformity when at certain levels with a few above in no mood for challenge or question.

It's an issue that has been discussed at length here: http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=340

As it is an issue of great personal relevance and interest, I am attuned to any feedback there is.

One thing I have noticed is the paucity of 'over-parapet' commentary, which I'd value, from within the teaching profession, which surely must be well-informed and have views.

Wondering more than a little why.

Jun 14, 2011 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

Extract from Daily Mail on teaching of global warming aka climate change - oh dear, polar bears again.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002890/Pseudo-science-climate-change-lessons-says-schools-adviser.html

One national curriculum module for seven-year-olds, called Solar, says they must:

Understand in simple terms how climate change will affect wildlife, using the example of polar bears.
Think about positive ways we can act now to slow down climate change.
Understand that there are forms of energy production that don’t produce carbon dioxide, such as solar.

A list of vocabulary that the youngsters must know includes: global warming, climate change, carbon dioxide and solar power.

Suggested activities include preparing a written or verbal news flash explaining the terms ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ with specific reference to the lives of polar bears and the Arctic.

Questions the class must ask:

Will climate change affect us?
If the ice melts what will happen to the seas?
Will this change where we live

Jun 14, 2011 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Comment by Derwent on Bob Ward's post on climate change [global warming] education in the Guardian yesterday.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/13/curriculum-climate-change-education

As a lowly geography teacher following the Edexcel GCSE Syllabus A, could someone explain to me why I am required to teach the negative effects of climate change (AKA global warming) and ignore the positive?

Perhaps this is one reason why many people are confused about the basic facts about climate change. It has been covered in much of the media and been taught by many teachers in a one-sided, unbalanced, scare-mongering way.

Jun 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

What I found troubling about all this was the quantity and quality of scary stuff shoved at 5-11 year olds at primary / junior schools - which thankfully I don't now have to deal with personally as my offspring aren't there...

The procession of solar panels and windmills fitted to junior schools seems endless - but I am not aware of a single school locally that has installed GSHP or CHP. One school has nice green north facing solar panels ... I do despair of people sometimes.

The scaring young kids activities of the eco nuts must be addressed and terminated. The bogey man approach is just plain wrong and frankly divisive, cowardly stuff.

messenger's last paragraph above fingers some of the really guilty, the media and particularly the BBC.

Jun 14, 2011 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

@Tom 4.37pm

That last paragraph was also from Derwent's comment

Jun 14, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

"using the example of polar bears"

I'm not clear how AGW has caused their numbers to increase. I also wonder how they survived the MWP when, as I recall, Greenland was more eponymous...

Jun 14, 2011 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"Assuming that most teachers will act badly is an unrealistic and unwarrantedly negative view, in my personal experience."

@ Alexander K:

I was trying to stay on topic- discussing 'climate change' in the class room. If they are allowed to teach climate change, what standard (other than their own beliefs) will they be using?

I do not assume that most teachers act poorly, nor did I imply it.

Jun 15, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSera

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