Probing into the sources of ignorance: science teachers’ practices of constructing arguments or rebuttals to denialism of climate change
This study focuses on the nature of teachers’ arguments for and rebuttals to 10 denial theories about anthropogenic climate change that are most commonly encountered in the media and public debates. Through a semi-structured survey, the study collected data from 24 participants who are K-12 teachers in Maryland and Delaware. The deductive coding and frequency analysis of data shows that although all participants of our study agree with the importance of teaching anthropogenic climate change, some teachers agree with the denial theories of climate change. The arguments for the denial theories show less epistemic quality than the rebuttals against denial theories. Moreover, teachers went beyond the textbooks and searched for other varied sources of information. However, we noticed that teachers might still doubt the anthropogenic causes of climate change. The study further uses intertextual discourse analysis to explore the reasons why use of sources might still leave teachers confused.