Columbia Public Schools science teachers are among hundreds of thousands across the country who have received a book from the Heartland Institute that denies that Earth is warming and that human activity is causing it.

Although 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming is caused largely by human activities, The Heartland Institute and its publications argue differently. Those arguments are central to the book the organization sent out starting last spring.

How climate change is taught

Up until about a year ago, the Columbia Public Schools curriculum on climate change used to be only about weather.

“It’s completely the opposite now,” said Mike Szydlowski, science coordinator for the Columbia Public Schools district.

Three years ago, the schools adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which state that human activities are largely responsible for global warming and that global warming and climate change is real and requires solutions to reduce human impact on the earth. The state of Missouri adopted the standards as recently as a year ago.

“We didn’t want to wait for Missouri,” Szydlowski said. “We took a leap of faith.”

Columbia Public Schools revises its curriculum every seven years while the state undertakes revisions about every 15 years. Szydlowski said he thinks the schools will retain Next Generation Science for another six to seven years because of how good it is.

Climate change and global warming are introduced to fifth-graders and taught more comprehensively to seventh-graders, he said.

Click here to read the full story in the Missourian (June 16, 2017) Missourian




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