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Report Calls Indiana Climate Education ‘Abysmal,’ But State Aims To Improve

By Rebecca Thiele, IPB News | Published on in Education, Environment, Science
Keith Morey explains the concept of a theory at Centerville-Abington Junior High School. (FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU)
Keith Morey explains the concept of a theory at Centerville-Abington Junior High School. (FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU)

Indiana got a “D” for how it educates kids about climate change. That’s according to a report released by the National Center for Science Education and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund. But the state Department of Education said it’s working to change that.

The report called Indiana’s approach to teaching the reality, severity, and human responsibility for causing climate change “abysmal.” Just six states received a lower letter grade than Indiana.

Adam Baker is the press secretary for the Indiana Department of Education. He said the department appreciates feedback from educators, experts, and other stakeholders.

“We want to make sure we’re having those conversations so that if we need to adapt and adjust, we are doing so,” Baker said.

READ MORE: Indiana Teachers Struggle To Find Credible Materials On Climate Change  

Matt Walsh is the department’s academic specialist. He said it’s working on a framework for teachers that will connect state education standards that intersect with climate change to resources for teachers’ lesson plans — something several teachers say they struggle to find.

“I think there is a movement out there too where just teachers would like to see more explicit parts about climate education in the Indiana academic standards,” Walsh said.

The department also plans to look at other states’ standards to see how Indiana can improve its own.

The state is expected to review science standards next summer.

Contact Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.