Climate Change Education In Public Schools

Museum of American Bird Art Staff teaching a lesson at a local school

As of 2016, the mechanism and effects of climate change are integrated into the Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Frameworks for grades 9-12. Mass Audubon is committed to ensuring that climate change science is taught in our public schools at all grade levels in an age-appropriate way. 

In addition to the recommended climate change standards that are included in the Next Generation Science Standards, we would like Massachusetts guidelines also to consider the following climate literacy goals adapted from the Steering Committee on Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14, which are widely accepted by the climate change education community and further connect students to impacts of climate change on our natural heritage:

Graduates of the K-14 education system should understand:

  • Fundamental processes and principles that influence climate, at scales ranging from local to regional to global.
  • Natural variability and natural cycles in climate. 
  • Human impact on the climate-- how the growth of human population and technology has made it possible for human activity to change climate patterns at various scales. 
  • How changes in climate can and do influence physical systems, ecosystems, and society. 
  • Why the scientific community is now convinced that anthropogenic climate change is under way. 
  • The range of effects of climate change and the likelihood of various different scenarios of climate change.
  • How to make informed decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate change.