What do history textbooks teach teens about climate change?

California and Texas textbooks have their differences when it comes to teaching teenagers about American history and the way that subjects like race, gender, and immigration weave through it. But a new Stanford University study has found the two states’ U.S. history textbooks are surprisingly similar when dealing with climate change and environmental topics.

History and civics curricula are important tools for teaching students to be thoughtful and engaged citizens, says study author Hannah D’Apice. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Published May 23 in Environmental Education Research, the study analyzed each word and sentence in 30 of the most popular U.S. history textbooks in California and Texas. The results suggest widely used history textbooks in the two states, which strongly influence textbook content nationwide, tend to emphasize controversy in discussions of climate science and prompt students to think about our planet’s rapid warming as a matter of opinion or a two-sided issue.