Global Warming?? But it’s cold outside!!?!?

Ever heard this statement? Have you noticed many educated people in very public roles in our world make statements or tweet about how fake global warming is? Where do you think this idea comes from?

“Global warming is a myth.” – a misconception

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Misconceptions – What are they and how do they happen?

Misconceptions in science typically occur because of an initial misunderstanding that is perpetuated by multiple sources portraying similar information.

This can be in the form of

  • textbooks
  • figures
  • popular diagrams
  • media sources
  • everyday conversation
  • politics
  • or really anything that decides to incorporate science

However, misconceptions can actually help students learn.

Image result for misconceptionBy being able to discuss with students why things they may believe do not have scientific evidence, students not only learn by expanding their knowledge on that topic but also how to think critically and examine other things in life.

“Teachers who know their students’ most common misconceptions are more likely to increase their students’ science knowledge than those who do not.” -Sadler, 2016

Global warming, or more commonly, climate change, is not a myth and has a plethora of scientific evidence to support it.

This video does a good job of taking many of the misconceptions around climate change and showing data and evidence to show that they are simply myths, not climate change itself.

To be a good teacher, you need to address the misconceptions that will arise in your class. Your students will learn more and you will be helping to create a more scientifically literate population.

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With this being said, you also need to respect the religious or cultural beliefs of your students. Some may come with other ideas about nature or how things work, and you need to make sure that you are not negating their beliefs. Make sure they understand what science is and how it looks at the world while also respecting them.


  1. Margaux, I enjoyed reading your blog. It was full of information and also enjoyable to read. I loved all of the images that you used throughout the blog as well. I loved how you mentioned how important it is to respect your student religion and beliefs while still helping them understand the misconceptions. The video is also a good example of a way to better explain global warming to your students. As a future teacher what misconceptions do you think will be the hardest to handle in your classroom. Great blog post.

    • Thanks Bailey! I really liked the video too. I think that the hardest misconceptions to handle in the classroom would probably be the most famous ones such as evolution. Even once you get past the religious aspect of it, many kids are still confused about how evolution works and why it happens.

  2. Margaux,

    You had a phenomenal blog post! Your choice of a scientific misconception is also pretty relevant in today’s political climate (almost a pun). These misconceptions can come from ALL over the place and in every aspect of a student’s life. We need to address these concerns carefully because we definitely need to respect people’s beliefs of all kinds. How would you personally address climate change deniers in your classroom?


    • Thanks Michael! I love puns so I appreciate that. In terms of addressing deniers, I think that its important to present the facts. I think it would be totally fine to maybe have a debate with the kids in the class and tell the kids that they can only present factual material. It could be a good lesson on bias, reliable sources, and understanding how science is conducted. As long as you present them with the data and explain what the data means, I think it would go a long way in helping kids to learn and work through this misconception.

  3. Margaux, this is an awesome guide to dealing with misconceptions! I really like how you make a point of incorporating the religious aspect of dealing with misconceptions, as that can be tricky business. How would you go about making sure misconceptions are being discovered and learned, rather than the students just failing/disagreeing in silence? Awesome job!

    • Thanks Bryce! I definitely think its work through scientific concepts within the context of religious beliefs as well as explaining how the two can coexistent. I went to a religious school and I think the way we approached many things did a great job of not negating or falsifying if you will either discipline. I think that in order for students to learn about their misconceptions they need to be able to test their hypotheses about the topic and discover for themselves if their belief holds up. You standing in the front of the class telling kids that they are wrong won’t do very much for their learning or their self-confidence. Thanks again!

  4. Hello Margaux!
    Our blogs seem to be pretty similar. I did mine on natural selection and evolution and wrote a similar statement to you that misconceptions can actually help students learn! They can. Remember Duckworth reading? There is no real value in just being correct when you cannot problem solve and know where you obtained the correct answer. In a classroom, it is not only about just being “correct”. That is not the main idea. Students should not be afraid of making mistakes and learning from them. Misconceptions can definately help kids grow because they involve reasoning, problem solving, and open-mindedness. As a teacher, you must allow students to have the misconceptions and to then use them as a scaffold to bring in new information and possibly make corrections to the old information. There were a lot of things in biology that I had misconceptions about as a child. For example, I have a chocolate lab named Moses. I used to think that his chocolate color came from codominance. I then learned later that it is another mechanism called epistasis where one gene controls another. Without having this misconception and knowing why it was wrong, I would not be able to correct it and come up with a new explanation. Can you give me an example of a time when this happened to you as a teacher or student? I also like how you say that a teacher must respect cultural and religious beliefs. That is awesome! I have found that, as a teacher, you can be anything but close-minded. Students come to your classrooms with a lot of different belief systems and respecting them all is your job! Can you think of any reasons why a teacher must be open-minded? I can think of a couple of main ones. The first one is that you come in contact with a lot of different people from different backgrounds. Being close-minded does not allow you or the students to learn. It also decreases your credibility as a teacher. As Duckworth said, if you teach to the middle, you miss a lot of students! Excellent post! I would love to hear your thoughts!

    Delaina 🙂

    • Delaina, I totally agree that misconceptions are super valuable in the classroom! You sometimes learn more from your mistakes than your successes. As for a misconception I had, I remember back in middle or high school I thought that breathing and respiration were the same thing, but once I learned what respiration actually was, everything made a lot more sense. Teachers need to be open minded because the future of our country is in the classroom and those kids need good role models who show them what it’s like to be tolerant and respectful of people different from them so that these kids can grow up into a better world. Thanks!

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