Minority Pre-service Teachers' and Faculty Training on Climate Change Education in Delaware State University

Document Type

Conference Paper


AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts

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Delaware State University is working toward infusing undergraduate education with climate change science and enhancing the climate change learning content of pre-service teacher preparation programs as part of the MADE-CLEAR project (www.madeclear.org). Faculty development workshops have been conducted to prepare and educate a cadre of faculty from different disciplines in global climate science literacy. Following the workshops, the faculty participants have integrated climate literacy tenets into their existing curriculum. Follow up meetings have helped the faculty members to use specific content in their curriculum such as greenhouse gases, atmospheric CO2, sea level rise, etc. Additional training provided to the faculty participants in pedagogical methods of climate change instruction to identify common misconceptions and barriers to student understanding. Some pre-service teachers were engaged in summer internships and learned how to become messenger of climate change science by the state parks staff during the summer. Workshops were offered to other pre-service teachers to teach them specific climate change topics with enhanced hands-on laboratory activities. The participants were provided examples of lesson plans and guided to develop their own lesson plans and present them. Various pedagogical methods have been explored for teaching climate change content to the participants. The pre-service teachers found the climate content very challenging and confusing. Training activities were modified to focus on targeted topics and modeling of pedagogical techniques for the faculty and pre-service teachers. Program evaluation confirms that the workshop participant show improved understanding of the workshop materials by the participants if they were introduced few climate topics. Learning how to use hands-on learning tools and preparing lesson plans are two of the challenges successfully implemented by the pre-service teachers. Our next activity includes pre-service teachers to use their lesson plans to teach the climate change content in the middle school science classes. This will mutually help the middle school science teachers' to learn and use the materials provided by the pre-service teachers and also pre-service teachers' to improve their teaching skills on climate change content.


Climate, Education



Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Merrill, Jennifer; Harcourt, Patricia; Mead, Hilary


American Geophysical Union