CLEAN Teleconference Call December 9, 2014

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Provenance: Noun Project
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Provenance: Daniela Pennycook, University of Colorado at Boulder
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Multifaceted Climate Education in the Pacific Islands Region

Abstract: The Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership (PCEP) is a collaborative network of Pacific Island communities and organizations responding to the impacts of climate change and committed to enhancing climate education in the Pacific Island region. The core team includes PREL, WestEd, the University of Hawai'i, the College of the Marshall Islands, entity-based Curriculum and Instruction Chiefs, and other researchers. About 40 other organizations, including all U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) school systems and institutions of higher education, as well as governmental agencies and a broad range of non-profit groups and local communities, comprise the cadre of supporting partners. A PCEP-developed K-14 Climate Education Framework (CEF) guides the PCEP work in professional development, curriculum contextualization and dissemination, and assistance to community-school partnerships. The regional implementation and dissemination strategies are informed by deep understanding of the differences and similarities among the region's islands, cultures, and governments.

The PCEP vision is to empower the region's students and citizens through education that exemplifies modern science and indigenous environmental knowledge, addresses the urgency of climate change impacts, and honors indigenous cultures so that students and citizens within the region will have the knowledge and skills to improve understandings of climate change and adapt to its impacts. A strategy of connecting community adaptation and K-14 education to advance climate science education is particularly appropriate for this highly vulnerable and currently impacted region. This aspect of the PCEP work can serve as a beacon for climate education strategies that may become equally appropriate and desired if projected increases in climate change occur in other regions of the USA and internationally.


The presentation with CLN will highlight key PCEP activities. One focus will be on pedagogical content knowledge related to the carbon cycle and Earth's energy flows. A second major focus of the presentation is on mangrove climate adaptation as a way to illustrate the multi-faceted PCEP approach to climate education in the Pacific Island region.

Bio (Art Sussman): Dr. Art Sussman, a research scientist who has devoted his career to public understanding of science and K-12 science education, is a Senior Project Director at WestEd, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He is perhaps best known as "Dr. Art," the author of the books Dr. Art's Guide to Science, Dr. Art's Guide to Planet Earth, and the DVD Dr. Art Does Science. 

As Co-PI of the NSF-funded Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership (PCEP), Sussman is coordinating multi-faceted strategies for implementing K-14 climate education in a wide variety of Pacific island contexts. Key activities include helping Pacific island states and countries to revise their grade level science education standards, developing curriculum resources contextualized to the Pacific Island region, and designing and implementing climate science professional development such as a "Climate 101" pedagogical content course taught at the community college level. 

Sussman is also currently assisting the state of California in its implementation of the recently adopted Next Generation Science Standards. This work includes working on a Science Expert Panel to design an NGSS integrated middle school sequence; providing technical assistance in the state's current development of a California Science Framework that helps teachers and publishers understand the intent and content of the new standards; and assisting a WestEd grant-funded project that is working with eight California school districts that were selected as early NGSS adopters. Sussman is extending his NGSS work to include assisting the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which has adopted NGSS, and the state of Hawaii, which is considering NGSS adoption. A big part of this NGSS assistance focuses on climate-related Performance Expectations and Disciplinary Core Ideas, systems as a Cross-Cutting Concept, and science content that is foundational for understanding climate. 

Sussman is often the keynote or featured presenter at conferences and informal science venues. His Planet Earth Show enjoyably educates about Earth systems science.

Bio (Marylin Low): Marilyn Low is the Senior Specialist, Languages and Literacies, at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) and a Co-PI of the NSF-funded Pacific Islands Climate Education Partnership (PCEP). She is committed to public education and its desire to promote rich and relevant learning experiences for students, K-14. Her continuing fields of interest include contextualized learning, and localized and transnational models of language and literacy education across and within disciplines. More recently, through experiences that integrated science, math, and literacy in the Philippines, her adolescent interests in science re-emerged and became rooted in questions of the environment and specifically of climate change. Ongoing conversations about climate change education in the Pacific led to PCEP, an incredible opportunity for us, in partnership, to plan and implement climate change education in the USAPI—one that informs and honors the people, ocean, and land of the Pacific.

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