A new type of debate for global warming and scientific literacy
- 557 Downloads
Expanding on some ideas introduced in the paper by Albe and Gombert (2012) “Students’ communication, argumentation and knowledge in a citizen’ conference on global warming”, I explore two issues relevant to their work: global warming (GW) as a socioscientific controversy and scientific literacy in regards to climate change science. For the first issue, the definition of GW socioscientific controversy provided in the article raises controversies in both scientific communities and society or social groups concerned by the issue. I review this from two perspectives that can be considered at the extreme ends of a spectrum of perspectives. I then address the role of debates in education about global warming and climate change and suggest a new type of classroom debates to replace those addressing the existence and cause of global warming.
KeywordsSocioscientific issues Global warming Climate change School science Debate
This paper draws considerably on a research I carried out in collaboration with my former graduate students and now colleagues Drs. Diane Schweizer (Clayton) and Stacy Rebich-Hespañha, as well as Rachel Solomon. I thank my colleagues Professor Richard Somerville (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego) and Dr. Jacques Merle (IRD—France) who, on a very short notice, offered comments on a draft of this manuscript.
- Albe, V., & Gombert, M. (2012). Students’ communication, argumentation and knowledge in a citizens’ conference on global warming. doi: 10.1007/s11422-012-9407-1.
- Clayton, D., & Gautier, C. (2006). Scientific argumentation in earth system science education. Journal of Geoscience Education, 54, 374–382.Google Scholar
- Gautier, C., & Rebich, S. (2005). The use of a mock environment summit to support learning about global climate change. Journal of Geoscience Education, 53, 5–16.Google Scholar
- Gautier, C., & Solomon, R. (2005). A preliminary study of students’ asking quantitative scientific questions for inquiry-based climate model experiments. Journal of Geoscience Education, 53, 432–443.Google Scholar
- Kahan, D. M., Wittlin, M., Peters, E., Sloviv, P., Larrimore Ouelette, L., Braman, D., & Mandel, G. N. (2011). The tragedy of the risk-perception commons: Culture conflict, rationality conflict, and climate change, cultural cognition project working paper no. 89. Yale Law School. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1871503.
- Leiserowitz, A., Maibach, E., & Roser-Renouf, C. (2010). Climate change in the American mind: Americans’ global warming beliefs and attitudes. Project on Climate Change. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Miller, J. (2002). Civic scientific literacy: A necessity in the 21st century. FAS Public Interest Reports, 55, 3–6.Google Scholar
- Mindell, A. (1995). Sitting in the fire: Large group transformation using conflict and diversity. Portland: Lao Tse Press.Google Scholar
- Mindell, A. (2002). The deep democracy of open Forums: How to transform organizations into communities: Practical steps to conflict prevention and resolution for the family, workplace and world. Charlottesville: Hampton Roads.Google Scholar
- National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). International mathematics and science literacy (Indicator 16–2011). The condition of education. Retrieved November 2011.Google Scholar
- Somerville, R. C. J., & Hassol, S. (2011). Communicating the science of climate change. Physics Today, 64, 48–53.Google Scholar