Renewed backing for climate change education

“A recent Heatmap News poll found that three-quarters of Americans (74%) believe that the government should encourage schools to incorporate climate change into their curriculum, including over half of Republicans (59%) and 75% of Independents,” according to a December 15, 2023, post (registration required) at Heatmap.

The result is comparable to previous polls about climate change education using similar questions. In 2019, for example, a poll from Teachers College, Columbia University found (PDF) that 77 percent of Americans agreed that it is important for elementary and secondary school students to learn about climate change. Similarly, in 2021, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication estimated that 77 percent of Americans agreed that schools should teach about global warming.

Acknowledging the importance of state science standards in climate change education, Heatmap quoted “Making the Grade?” — the 2020 study by NCSE and the Texas Freedom Education Network of the treatment of climate change in state science standards — as saying “a bare majority — just 27 — of the 50 states and District of Columbia have standards that earned a B+ or better for how they address climate change.” (The Next Generation Science Standards, which earned a B+, have been adopted by 20 states and the District of Columbia.)

According to Heatmap, “The Heatmap Climate Poll of 1,000 American adults was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group via online panels from Nov. 6 to 13, 2023. The survey included interviews with Americans in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.”

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