MADE CLEAR CLIMATE CHANGE ACADEMY: SUPPORTING NGSS IMPLEMENTATION IN DELAWARE AND MARYLAND
The Climate Change Academy uses a blended learning approach, incorporating in-person sessions, webinars, and independent work. The Academy provides science information, model activities, and practical experience while preparing teachers to introduce climate change to students. There is a particular need because pre-NGSS climate change was not included in the two states’ standards.
Delaware and Maryland are NGSS Lead States, both working at the state and local level to develop and align curriculum with NGSS. The Academy and our introduction of NGSS to participants have evolved over three years as schools in our states progress in implementation. Our approach has also become more NGSS-ish. Less telling, more doing.
The Academy focuses on four climate change topics, related to MS / HS ESS3 Earth and Human Activity and ETS1 Engineering Design and various Climate Literacy Principles: 1) the mechanism that leads to global warming, 2) the ways in which human activity contribute to a warming Earth, 3) local and global impacts of climate change, and 4) climate change related mitigation and adaptation strategies. While modeling classroom learning, these topics are addressed through student activities, readings, videos, and presentations, with an emphasis on data analysis and scientific argumentation supported by evidence.
Teachers commit to incorporate a self-selected suite of NGSS-aligned climate change lessons in their courses. Discussions during several Academy workshops and plans submitted during the 2015 Academy indicate that our teachers are working towards the three-dimensional approach to science learning espoused by NGSS. Some Academy teachers have decided to introduce one or two climate change lessons into their courses. More extensive plans thread climate change throughout all units over the entire school year or use a climate change related challenge to prompt an extended study of the topic. To support their efforts after the Academy, teachers are encouraged to further collaborate with MADE CLEAR colleagues and staff during their classroom implementation and subsequent revisions.