Most teachers don’t teach climate change; 4 in 5 parents wish they did

NPR | Anya Kamenetz, April 2019
More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school. A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory – 86% agree that climate change should be taught. These polls are among the first to gauge public and teacher opinion on how climate change should be taught to the generation that in the coming years will face its intensifying consequences: children. […] Although most states have classroom standards that at least mention human-caused climate change, most teachers aren’t actually talking about climate change in their classrooms. And fewer than half of parents have discussed the issue with their children. […] About 3 in 4 respondents in our nationally representative survey of 1,007 Americans agreed that the climate is changing. That figure is in line with previous results from Ipsos and other polls. […] Just 45% of parents said they had ever discussed the topic with their own children. […] In fact, 86% of teachers believe climate change should be taught in schools. In theory. But in practice, it’s more complicated. More than half – 55% – of teachers we surveyed said they do not cover climate change in their own classrooms or even talk to their students about it. The most common reason given? Nearly two-thirds (65%) said it’s outside their subject area.
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