When global warming is taught in their children’s school, parents worry more about the planet
MarketWatch ^ | May 8, 2019 | By Andrew Keshner
Posted on 5/8/2019, 9:45:37 AM by Oldeconomybuyer
When kids get concerned about climate change, so do their parents.
A study released this week by North Carolina State University showed the sway kids can have over adults in the contentious debate over climate change and what should be done to stop its worse consequences.
The experiment started with middle-school science teachers incorporating climate-change lessons into their curriculum. Using a sample of 238 students and 292 parents, the experiment started with a survey gauging how worried or not the participants were on a 17-point scale.
The students with global-warming lessons in their curriculum emerged 2.78 points more concerned. Their parents became 3.89 points more worried.
The grown-ups with the biggest spikes in worry were conservatives and fathers and parents of daughters, according to the findings. All three groups swung roughly four points from “marginally not concerned” to “moderately concerned,” the results said.
The findings showed children were “willing to learn, which is exciting because studies find that many adults are resistant to climate education, because it runs counter to their personal identities,” said Danielle Lawson, a Ph.D student at the university who’s the study’s lead author.
Almost two-thirds of the polled teachers said they emphasized the scientific consensus that climate change is man-made, but about one-third said they took a “both sides” approach to give time to theories claiming global warming had to do with natural causes, not human activity.
Glenn Branch, deputy director the National Center for Science Education, said he was encouraged by the study. It underscored the younger generation’s interest in the issue — the power of that interest. “If you give them what they want to know about climate change, they really do take it to heart and take it home,” he said.
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