Climate change as superordinate curriculum?

David Long, Joseph Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite being one of the largest carbon emitters in the world, the United States has little direct emphasis on climate change in its schools. Even where there is desire to teach climate change, the politicization of climate change sees school leaders steering teachers away from the topic. This piece examines what we know about climate change education in the U.S., what types of curriculum we have had, what historical conditions saw the U.S. curriculum change, and asks whether and how climate change can and should be a superordinate concern of U.S. schooling. As U.S. schools on whole have never been a site of equity concerning matters of race, class, gender, and many other issues, we ask whether climate change will be subsumed or taken up as a concern. We pose two alternate futures: one in which the scale of climate change as a problem sees changes in how we educate our young and affect the future, or another where the potential for a healthy climate becomes a prime concern of burgeoning revanchist, fascistic leaning governments worldwide and ecofascist social movements within them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch in Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • curriculum
  • environmental education
  • politics
  • science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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