GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 254-4
Presentation Time: 8:55 AM


HERZFELD, Julia, Department of Sociology, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, GLUMAC, Bosiljka, Department of Geosciences, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 and DODD, Graeham, Campus School of Smith College, 33 Prospect St., Northampton, MA 01063

This presentation will discuss progress on a K-12 climate literacy project lead by Julia Herzfeld (Sociology major), Bosiljka Glumac (Prof. of Geosciences), and Graeham Dodd (Director of Curriculum Design & Innovation, Campus School of Smith College), as part of Smith College’s 2019/20 Year on Climate Change initiative. The project was inspired when Prof. Glumac surveyed students in her GEO 106 Extraordinary Events in the History of Earth, Life and Climate course and realized that they had very little previous knowledge about the impact of climate on human history. The main goal of this project is to help K-12 teachers incorporate ideas about climate beyond STEM subjects.

About 40 student volunteers responded to the initial call for participation in the project: “Information about climate change is commonly taught only in natural and environmental science classes in K-12 curricula. This project explores relationships between climate and human history and culture so that this information could also be included in history, social studies, literature, art, music, language and other classes. Student researchers are needed to browse through schools’ curricular plans and standards in search of topics that may have relationships to climate information. Each student will choose one or more topics of their own interest and relate it to published information on climate. For each topic, a student researcher will prepare a short, bulleted list explaining how their topic is related to climate, together with links to credible resources for any additional, more detailed information. Student researchers will then work with teachers in local schools to create questions and activities to use in the classroom. The ultimate goal of this project is to create and disseminate an open-access guide for teachers on incorporating information on climate across the curriculum. We believe that this approach would greatly improve overall climate literacy and increase general understanding of the impact of climate on human societies so that any current and predicted future impacts could be better comprehended and assessed by the public.”

This presentation will include the open-access guide draft and examples of entries completed to date. It will also include ideas about dissemination of the document to inspire discussion and invite feedback.

  • GSA 2019 Presentation.pdf (8.4 MB)