Survey Results: K-12 Climate Education in New Mexico

In January and February 2021, the 350NM Education Committee administered an informal survey in order to assess the prevalence of K-12 climate change education in New Mexico. The intent was to use the survey results to determine whether there is a need to improve climate education efforts in the state and if so, how to best support stakeholders.

View the full report by clicking here.
View a brief slide deck of the results by clicking here.

Percent of survey respondents in each role (N = 247 total respondents)

Two hundred forty-seven people responded to the survey.  The majority of respondents were classroom teachers (40.5%), followed by K-12 students (20.6%).

From the results of this informal survey, it appears that climate change is likely being taught in K-12 schools in New Mexico.  However, due to the voluntary nature of this survey and the small sample size, it is possible that the results were skewed by self selection.

Middle & high school science teachers (N=42)

Middle and high school science teachers most frequently reported teaching about climate change, but a large percentage of elementary teachers who responded also reported that they teach about climate change.  The majority of student respondents indicated that they have learned about climate change in school.  Optional comments provided from stakeholders in every category demonstrated that climate change education seems to be valued in the state.

The majority of teachers who responded reported that they need more high-quality materials for teaching about climate change, and student comments indicated that many students understand the issue and would like to learn more about solutions.

Students were asked the following question, and a sample of their responses is below.

What kinds of things would you like to learn about climate change?

Why it is that people can’t follow simple directions and why they’d rather leave the earth in a worse condition than they received it.

How it will affect us in the future and what is being done to stop it.

How to combat it.

What people are doing to fix it.

Why are some people so unproductive in trying to stop it?

For information on climate change education in the US, see this 2016 scientific survey report by the National Center for Science Education.