More than two-thirds of schoolchildren in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia are not learning about climate issues and are not receiving enough instruction, according to new research.
Key points:The ABC’s science correspondent David White reports from Canberra on the state of education in QueenslandA report released by the Queensland School Education Council (QSEEC) shows the state’s schools have failed to provide adequate preparation for climate changeKey pointsThe QSEEC said education is a key issue for education in the stateAs part of its research, the QSEec surveyed over 1,500 students in schools in Queensland’s central north and the south-east.
It found that a majority of students were not aware of the impacts of climate change on the Queensland economy.
“In many schools the response time was significantly longer to start climate change education than it is to the general public,” QSEAC chairman Paul Copley said.
“There was a lot of pressure on schools to get to grips with this and so they were really lacking in the preparation and they were very focused on preparing for a climate change event and they didn’t have enough people on staff to actually teach the climate change concepts.”
Key points”I was shocked by the lack of awareness and preparation in Queensland schools on climate change”Dr Paul Coughlin, Queensland School and Community Education CouncilThe QSEC report said it was a “major issue” for education because of the economic impact of climate-related problems.
“It is estimated that over half of all businesses in Queensland are at risk of climate impacts and the Queensland Government’s recent Climate Change Action Plan has outlined the need for action on climate issues, especially to prepare businesses for climate impacts,” Mr Copleys report said.
Mr Copleyan said the report was “totally unsurprising” as Queensland was one of the first states to introduce a national curriculum for climate education.
“What’s really disappointing is that the QSCEC are not seeing any improvement in this area,” he said.
The QCEEC said its new survey of 1,100 students found that 75 per cent of students did not know how to teach climate change.
“Most students were unsure about climate science and it was not clear to them that it was even something that was happening in the classroom, let alone being addressed in the curriculum,” Mr Rauch said.
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