Science education is crucial in an era when many countries need to deal with the potential consequences of climate change and ozone depletion. Ghana, amongst many countries, has recognized the need for a skilled and well-informed workforce of climate scientists.
Teacher knowledge has a direct influence on what pupils learn. So efforts to improve climate science literacy must include attention to the ideas held by teachers. Their understanding could have a lasting and far-reaching impact.
Surveys and interviews by The Conservation have shown that trainee science teachers in Ghana have been able to explain that stratospheric ozone is a layer of gas in the atmosphere that prevents ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth. However, they were not able to describe how ozone is created and how the mechanism of ozone depletion goes.
To solve this problem, The Conversation suggests the Government of Ghana could acknowledge several areas that need to be improved. It starts by requiring educators to be able to identify and reinforce correct knowledge while helping students revise their inaccurate ideas.
The Government could also give intensive professional development that stresses the differences between ozone depletion and climate change as well as their causes and effects, and ways to mitigate their impacts.
Eventually, the science educators themselves should be critical to evaluate textbooks as potential sources of climate misconceptions.