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pp. 717-736 | DOI: 10.12973/ijese.2015.262a | Article Number: ijese.2015.027
Published Online: September 09, 2015
Article Views: 737 | Article Download: 509
Climate change is not local; it is global. This means that many environmental issues related to climate change are not geographically limited and hence concern humans in more than one location. There is a growing body of research indicating that today’s increased climate change is caused by human activities and our modern lifestyle. Consequently, climate change awareness and attention from the entire world’s population needs to be a global priority and we need to work collaboratively to attain a sustainable future. A powerful tool in this process is to develop an understanding of climate change through education. Recognizing this, climate change has been included in many science curricula as a part of science education in schools. However, teaching such a complex and global topic as climate change is not easy. The research in this paper has been driven by this challenge. In this paper, we will present our online science module called Global Climate Exchange, designed with inquiry activities for international peer collaboration to teach climate change. In this study, we engaged 157 students from four countries (Canada, China, Sweden, and Norway) to collaborate in Global Climate Exchange. To explore the opportunities that international peer collaboration in Global Climate Exchange gives, we have analyzed how students develop their explanations about climate change issues over time. Our analysis showed that the students increased the proportion of relevant scientific concepts in relation to the total number of words in their explanations and that they improved the quality of links between concepts over a six-week period. The analysis also revealed that the students explained more perspectives relating to climate change issues over time. The outcomes indicate that international peer collaboration, if successfully supported, can be an effective approach to climate change education
Keywords: climate change education, international peer collaboration, inquiry-based science teaching
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