Subproject 9


Dialogues on Climate Change –

Understanding, Communicating and Evaluating Complexity

Climate change offers different points of reference for interdisciplinary teaching as well as links to ongoing public debates. In this context, the claim of education to promote pupils’ decision-making competence in science classes meets a complex subject matter, as the public debates about climate change are characterized by an oratory of catastrophe and mixture of scientific and political arguments. Complex issues like climate change and the related dealing with uncertainty and controversial theories require a high degree of ambiguity tolerance of learners and teachers, i.e. their ability to endure uncertainty and complexity and to use them productively. Science teacher training should foster the understanding of the nature of science and the role of communication in science and in the public and should provide assistance for teaching a discursive and a participative specialized class. This includes imparting students’ basic skills to deal with complex and controversial issues and to comprehend climate research by exemplary research projects. Focus of the study is to survey conceptions about the nature of science concerning complexity, uncertainty and science communication as well as studying relevant attitudes and abilities for teaching and how these are affected by teacher trainings.

Principal investigator: 

Prof. Dr. Arne Dittmer

Professorship of Didactics of Biology

University of Regensburg

Universitätsstr. 31

93053 Regensburg

Tel: +49 941 9433114