In the historic Centralia Grand Ballroom, about 70 educators gathered on a Friday evening in October to listen and learn from author Katie Worth. Katie is a journalist and author of the book Miseducation: How Climate Change is Taught in America. The audience was treated with real stories of the impacts of climate change on young children and how those children are taught, or not, about those impacts.
Katie shared the stories of several Marshallese children including sharing about their school and how climate change is taught to them at a very young age. In the Marshall Islands rising sea levels are an everyday reminder of the changes that are happening to climate and how they impact people living there. She also shared stories of children in the contiguous United States and how the changing climate is impacting their lives. In contrast to the Marshall Islands, children in these places have a different experience in learning about climate change and its impact on their lives. Some receive no specific climate education. While others are presented with climate change information as if it is still a debate amongst scientists and it is up to them to decide what they wish to believe is happening.
The evening felt like a call to action to the educators. Most in attendance were getting ready to attend the following day’s WSTA Chehalis Conference. These passionate teachers of science walked away ready to reflect and plan for how they might change the narrative of how climate change is taught in their classrooms.
Thank you to Lori Henrickson, OSPI’s Climate Science Curriculum Integration Consultant, for organizing a wonderful event! Each attendee received a copy of Miseducation: How Climate Change is Taught in America by Katie Worth.