Energy is a cross-disciplinary subject that extends far beyond the natural sciences into the social sciences. Indeed, its importance led to the creation of the Energy Literate Framework, whose development was spurred by the Department of Energy and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in conjunction with many agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals.
Knowing where our energy comes from, how it is used, and its impact on the environment are questions that are often poorly understood, yet are pivotal to our daily lives. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE, n.d.) defines energy literacy as “an understanding of the nature and role of energy in the world and daily lives accompanied by the ability to apply this understanding to answer questions and solve problems.” This understanding is crucial when consumers are making decisions that may range from purchasing energy-saving appliances to understanding energy policies both at home and abroad.
Our attitudes and behaviors toward energy can be linked back to our understanding of the topic. Such knowledge influences our decisions as we consider the impact our lives have on energy use and our role as world citizens (Martins, Madaleno, and Dias 2020). According to the EERE, the energy-literate person
Rising energy prices, along with international energy policies that impact our lives, make it imperative that our students are energy literate. I encourage you to peruse the EERE website for more information about energy literacy and to download Energy Literacy: Essential Principles for Energy Education to increase your knowledge while garnering ideas for increasing your students’ energy literacy.
Editor, Science Scope
Martins, A., M. Madaleno, and M.F. Dias, 2020, February. Energy literacy: What is out there to know? Energy Reports 6 (Suppl. 1): 454–459. Available at https://bit.ly/3zlzPMy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. (n.d.). Energy literacy: Essential principles for energy education. Available at https://bit.ly/39fblK6
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