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Global climate change (GCC) presents unprecedented global concerns, notably food supply limitations, unsustainable use of natural resources, and widespread environmental degradation. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports a 0.85 °C increase in global average temperatures between 1880 and 2018 and a 50% increase in global carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 (Stocker et al., 2018). As a result of the urgency of the situation, there is a strong emphasis on empowering citizens through outreach and education. There is a need to adequately prepare the next generation of scientists, politicians, business leaders, and other people; it is crucial to foster “climate literacy” among students (Climate Literacy Network [CLEAN], 2007). An individual possessing climate literacy can comprehend, communicate, and make informed judgments regarding the weather, climate, and its effects on their surroundings (United States Global Change Research Program [USGCRP], 2009). Here I describe findings from three related manuscripts exploring model-based teaching and learning of Earth’s climate in secondary science classrooms in the mid-western United States. Chapter 1 provides a brief overview and outline of this dissertation; Chapter 2 presents findings from a concurrent mixed method, multiple-case study of four secondary science teachers’ implementation of a model-centric climate curriculum module grounded in the use of a data-driven, computer-based climate modeling tool, Chapter 3, is a longitudinal examination seeking to establish how two secondary science teachers learn and adapt a model-based climate curriculum to support students’ learning about Earth’s climate and global climate change, in Chapter 4 the integration of a cloud-based global climate model into the teaching of Earth climate observed as it related to student learning outcomes within a secondary science classroom. Finally, in Chapter 5, I provide a brief conclusion of the findings and areas for future research.
Advisor: David Gosselin