GCSC Seminar: Confronting the politics of a changing climate in the science classroom” Lynne Zummo
November 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm MST
Among the US public, climate change remains divisive and politically fraught. The political polarization surrounding climate science presents a major challenge for K-12 science teachers. On the one hand, as educators, we have a responsibility to support youth understanding of climate science. Yet, in the US, discussing climate change carries with it the weight of an entrenched and contentious political history—a real and often unappealing challenge for teachers already immersed in a demanding profession. My research confronts this dilemma by studying the influence of politics on the learning process around climate science for youth. In this talk, I will share findings from three recent studies to show the complex intersection of social, cultural, and cognitive forces at work for youth when learning about climate science. I will offer implications for the design of learning experiences for politically diverse audiences and share ideas about how educators can navigate cultural divides around climate change in the US.
Lynne Zummo is an Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Utah and is the Curator of Learning Sciences at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Her research examines social, cultural, and cognitive influences on the learning process around controversial issues in science, such as climate change, and it argues for greater attention to the political culture and identity of science learners. Lynne uses mixed methods to understand how people think, learn, and teach about science. She works with pre-service and in-service teachers and aims to support all people in using science to make sense of their worlds in ways that fit with ideas of who they are.