Climate change and the 21st century APS grad
I appreciated Mr. Rabbideau’s column in which he asked readers to look at the Alpena Public Schools profile for the 21st Century graduate. I have examined the profile in the context of recent comments to the APS Board, by citizens of this community, stating that man-made climate change should not be taught in Alpena schools. Of the district’s seven desired competencies, at least three of them are highly applicable to the discussion of teaching man-made climate change. They include: “critical thinker, contributor, and culturally minded (globally aware).”
Global warming should not be censored or avoided in schools; at a minimum it is a scientific theory. Curriculum should connect learners to real life experiences in their own community as well as being able to see a global perspective. Humankind has influenced many habitats and environments across the world and the children of the local community need to have least heard about the idea.
In a recent series of resiliency planning courses for Master Citizen Planners, educators from Michigan State University and other experts stressed how important it is for municipalities to plan for climate-change events and to consider adding climate adaptation (resiliency) strategies to their Comprehensive Master Plans. This suggests that municipalities treat global warming as a risk factor (fact), going beyond theory to begin planning for extreme natural events.
Alpena needs the graduates of this community to be prepared to tackle problems, including climate change, to preserve our ecosystems and environment. They need to protect our lifestyle and community resiliency not just for the sake of the future of this community but as global citizens. When educators teach the truth, students start to see themselves as part of a bigger story.