Today there is much interest in teaching secondary students about weather and climate. Much of this effort has focused directly on students’ understanding of changes in the climatic system. We hypothesize, that in order for students to understand climate change they must first understand climate as a system and how changes to this system due to both natural and human influences result in climatic and environmental changes and feedbacks. In a recent paper (Shepardson et al. 2011) we articulate such a climate system framework for teaching about climate change and to stimulate discussion about what secondary students should know and understand about a climate system. We recognize the approach for developing such a framework needs to balance the depth versus breadth issue and also fit within the science requirements and academic schedules. Through this forum we welcome and invite comments and discussions about approaches to conceptualizing climate change in the context of a climate system.
The published manuscript is downloadable from this link
The manuscript Appendix: A Conceptual Progression for Contextualizing Climate Change within a Climate System is downloadable from this link.