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Upcoming webinars on turning misinformation into an educational opportunity

Posted on 27 July 2018 by John Cook

Since starting Skeptical Science in 2007, I've been researching how to counter misinformation.  One answer is inoculation - you can neutralize misinformation by exposing people to a "weak form of misinformation" (e.g., explain the techniques used to mislead). But how do we put this into practice?

One of the most powerful ways to teach science and counter science denial is in the classroom through misconception-based learning. I've been lucky enough to collaborate with several organizations to provide educational resources using this approach. The Skeptical Science team worked with UQx to develop the online course Making Sense of Climate Science Denial.

Now I'm based in the U.S., I've been lucky enough to collaborate with the National Center for Science Education and the Alliance of Climate Educators to develop a set of lesson plans teaching key facts about climate change while addressing five of the most common climate myths. With Brad Hoge (Director of Teacher Support at NCSE) and teachers from around the country who field-tested the lessons, we'll be presenting a five-part webinar series on how to teach our five lessons.

Each webinar will focus on a single NGSS-aligned lesson plan. You can sign up for free to any or all five to get the full complement of lessons. All participants will receive a certificate that can be used for continuing education units. The webinars will be at 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern Time via Zoom.

Register at 

July 31: Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

In this lesson, students create their own scientific consensus on climate change through direct interpretation with climate data, as well as examining a popular climate myth.

August 7: Climate Models

Some of the most common climate skeptic arguments focus on climate models. In this lesson, students examine climate model data and learn how climate models are developed, as well as debunk common misconceptions about climate models and their capabilities.

August 15: Past vs Present Climate Change

"Climate has always changed. Why is today any different?" With Milankovitch cycles (what?!), ice cores and other paleoclimate data, students explore the logical fallacy behind this misconception. 

August 21: Local Climate Impacts

Let's take a gamble... In this lesson, students delve into local impacts of climate change and try their hand at beating the odds to see how climate change really is loading the dice and increasing the odds of more extreme weather. 

August 29: Climate Solutions

What do wedges have to do with solving climate change? Turns out, everything. Students play the "Wedges Game" to balance various greenhouse gas-reductions strategies to achieve net zero emissions. Students also explore local climate solutions that works in their community.

Register now!

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  1. Thank's for doing this work. I don't know how much impact it will have on the climate issue, hopefully as much as possible, but the general principles of recognising logical fallacies, logical reasoning, and identifying reliable evidence are applicable to analysing any field of knowledge or current affairs issue, and are such an important way of understanding whether somebodies claims are valid  or not. It also helps us identify our own biases.

    The sooner young people are given a good grounding in this the better, especially in the age of the internet with its alternative facts and conspiracy theories. It should all be compulsory in schools, up there with equal importance with the core basic subjects.

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