#AGU14 Stanford researchers use a girl scout troop as guinea pigs for climate 'behavior change'

From the Stanford University press office:

AGU talk: Scaling climate change communication for behavior change

In a previous randomized controlled trial, Stanford University researchers developed two curricula for Girl Scouts to use energy more efficiently: one on energy use at home, and the other in transportation and food. Both courses were effective for girls in the short term, and the home energy course was effective for girls in the long term and for parents in the short term.

Subsequently, the Northern California Girl Scouts began disseminating the programs via manuals and reusable materials, but that method of disseminating the programs has not [led] to widespread use.

On Dec. 19, at 8:15 a.m. PT, Stanford researchers will describe deployment of the curricula to Girl Scout troop leaders via a massive open online course (MOOC). The talk will take place at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Moscone West, Room 3005.

The MOOC approach has several advantages:

  • Videos on teaching practice, behavior management techniques and the relevant social cognitive theory for troop leaders
  • Online discussion with other troop leaders
  • Feedback on teaching, use of components, mastery of curriculum and confidence
  • Downloadable videos, materials for activities, badges and completion certificates
  • Delivery of embedded social media, online mastery activities and quizzes for the girls
  • Self-paced learning for parents

The MOOC distribution of the Girls Learning Energy & Environment is itself a study, because it is new for the audience of Girl Scout troop leaders and primary target subjects of 10-13 year olds. The researchers have access to the MOOC experience, platform and analytical tools at Stanford. They are exploiting user testing and piloting to refine their MOOC.

The investigators will launch the first MOOC in northern California and use MOOC analytics to study its success. They will then launch the refined MOOC to Girl Scout troop leaders regionally or nationally. Overall, the project aims to simulate and advance in-person train-the-trainers technologies.

The AGU talk will be presented by the following Stanford researchers:

Victoria Christine Rodriguez, PhD candidate, education: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/victoria-rodriguez/66/276/40b

Nicole Ardoin, assistant professor, education: https://profiles.stanford.edu/nicole-ardoin

June Flora, senior research scientist, https://www.linkedin.com/pub/june-flora/9/b92/820

Tom Robinson, professor of pediatrics: https://profiles.stanford.edu/thomas-robinson


AGU abstract (GC51G-02): http://agu.confex.com/agu/fm14/meetingapp.cgi#Paper/27833

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WitchFinder General UEA
December 19, 2014 7:13 am

Oh Gawd…

December 19, 2014 7:22 am

It’s disgusting the portion of alarmist “research” and commentary which is all about psychology and indoctrination rather than empirical analysis of whether there really is any AGW going on . Yet such crap will be included in counts of papers “supporting” this willful nonscience .

Reply to  Bob Armstrong
December 20, 2014 6:47 am

On that note, let’s not forget that Stanford is where the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences is located as well as Paul Ehrlich’s MAHB–Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior with its ties to UNEP.
So much easier to assess the changes in human behavior when you created the conceptual frames and mental models in the first place.

M Courtney
December 19, 2014 7:27 am

The MOOC distribution of the Girls Learning Energy & Environment…

Hmm, A Glee Club for Moocs.
Green movements act analogously to parasitoids.
They infiltrate, take over and then transform other groups into a clone of themselves.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  M Courtney
December 19, 2014 7:51 am

That is incorrect. It’s “Moops”, so glee club for Moops.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
December 19, 2014 8:32 pm

Thanks for that, a classic 🙂

December 19, 2014 7:40 am

Boys are different. Tell them “Turn that light off. IT COSTS MONEY!” You will be ignored. Until, that is, the little rascal is paying the bills.

Ralph Kramden
Reply to  pochas
December 20, 2014 5:01 am

Pochas, I can remember my dad saying the same thing.

A C Osborn
December 19, 2014 7:45 am

They have to brain wash the kids, it is obviously not working with the Adults, see the Un’s own global poll.

December 19, 2014 7:56 am

No doubt that whole “door to door” cookie thing is causing global warming. Parents driving the little lasses about in SUV’s. The loss of energy when patrons open their doors to the little ladies.
Then there is the issue of the evil sugar in those cookies.
Thank god Stanford has embarked on a program to indoctrinate the little troopers and their parents into conforming to the Green religion.
At least the Girl Scouts are wearing “green” uniforms. One hopes the outfits are made in a “sustainable” way.

Reply to  Lancifer
December 20, 2014 2:35 pm

No problem anymore.
They sell the cookies online at the website.
So much with interfacing with the people.

Reply to  mikerestin
December 20, 2014 2:47 pm

I may have been misinformed about the GSA and cookies.
I do like the badge the girls get.

December 19, 2014 7:58 am

Without markets and prices, (which is the Left’s goal) everyone will have to be “trained” to use all resources efficiently. (Everything we make and do uses energy).
Except it won’t work because even the trainers (e.g., the Greenies) will not know what the relative value of different resources are. It will all be driven based on political fads and central planning dictates. No prices on anything. Just random rationing, shortages and extreme waste everywhere.

December 19, 2014 8:02 am

They don’t go door-to-door anymore, at least not here in CO. Too dangerous I guess. They now set up shop outside the grocery stores. Just not the same and that’s a shame.

Reply to  rocdoctom
December 19, 2014 5:11 pm

In my city it is illegal to solicit door-to-door.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  rocdoctom
December 19, 2014 9:44 pm

Yeah, they stand outside the Wally World, or grocery stores. Or the parents buy a buttload of cookies and sell them at their work.

December 19, 2014 8:15 am

What? Are boys more interested in football than saving the world?

December 19, 2014 8:16 am

Not “MOOCH”?

Ian L. McQueen
December 19, 2014 8:26 am

Minor quibble (second para, and probably due to software), the word “lead” should be “led”:
“,,,,,but that method of disseminating the programs has not lead to widespread use.”

December 19, 2014 8:27 am

It sounds to me like they are going to find out that the girl scout parents are polite when it comes to the topic, but not as gullible as they want them to be. Last year my daughter’s den had a guest environment/green speaker and everyone was very respectful, but the looks that were being passed around the room between the parents was quite amusing. Let’s just say that the individual/group was not asked to come back and give a talk again this year.

Reply to  Gibby
December 19, 2014 8:47 am

If it had been me, I would not have been content to pass around “looks”.

Bruce Cobb
December 19, 2014 8:33 am

It’s straight out of the Klimate Indoktrination handbook; Start in the home, with the kiddies.

December 19, 2014 9:17 am

Whether it is extra-scientific (e.g. climate change) or social experiments, girls have been the preferred test subjects for nearly a century. The moral grace of chivalry is well and truly dead. You’re on your own, girls.

Reply to  n.n
December 20, 2014 2:53 pm

I’ve been trying to train them for almost that long myself.
Hasn’t done me much good though.

December 19, 2014 10:41 am

Let’s see the human subjects research application for this.

December 19, 2014 10:49 am

And the sad part is it’s following right along with the normal programming provided as part of the Common Core. These girls will be hearing the same information from multiple fronts all trying to turn them into good little global citizens, with appropriate social values, that respond in predictable, and highly desirable, ways. More here: http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/

Reply to  spetzer86
December 19, 2014 3:09 pm

I saw the traffic and came to check. Yep, spetzer, that’s the MOOC as the Dtructured Design Dialogue that was to be the original scenario of the Club of Rome before they followed Jay Forester’s computer modeling approach instead. It’s back, but I knew that because I chased this MOOC declaration to Australia several months ago.
In 1976 while we were celebrating our Bicentennial the Club of Rome also met in Philadelphia as part of assemblies to push a Declaration of Interdependence going forward. The Girls Scouts were a big participant in advocating for that vision so there is a precedent for this.

Reply to  Robin
December 19, 2014 3:14 pm

Alexander Christakis is the name of the CoR official who resigned because CoR ignored the social science approach he favored. He created Structured Design Dialogue as I mentioned. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/framing-then-refining-lasting-webs-of-mutual-social-understanding-to-fulfill-aspiration-grounded-in-infamy/ lays that vision out and how MOOCs are really to work.

Matthew R Marler
December 19, 2014 10:53 am

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Are you advocating for energy profligacy?

Steve C
December 19, 2014 10:56 am

“Train” the teachers to “train” the kids, and in a generation or less, job done. Meanwhile, a population slumbers.
Truly shocking.

December 19, 2014 11:28 am

Isn’t this the exact same cr*p that they rolled out in the 70’s and 80’s? They wanted to save energy then because we were running out of oil. Now they are regurgitating the exact same programs because we have too much of it.
But make no mistake about it, this is a re-run we’re watching. It didn’t take root then and it won’t take root now. When those 10 year old girls grow up a bit and get their driver’s licence, their very first request to their parents will be to borrow the car.

ivor ward
December 19, 2014 12:26 pm

The Midwich cuckoos.

Reply to  ivor ward
December 21, 2014 12:04 pm

Programming brood parasites??

parochial old windbag
December 19, 2014 12:28 pm

Sorry, what?

December 19, 2014 12:35 pm

Reminds me of another place and another time I lived in. The establishment boys and girls wore green shirts with red ties or scarves respectively. Our teacher, who was a member of the CP, would take us to farm equipment exhibitions and extoll the virtues collective agriculture. The International was the preferred hymn of the day
The red and green colours were a replacement for the previous establishment shades of brown which had fallen out of fashion along with Erika.
The colours changed, the songs changed, but the structure and desired outcome of the message was very similar.
As someone said “History does not repeat, it just rhymes.”
Perhaps these are the techniques of most mass totalitarian movements, including religions.

December 19, 2014 1:10 pm

I assume (since it wasn’t specifically mentioned) that some of the Girl Scouts would be modeled and some would be models. Is it assumed in the modeling that the modeled Girl Scouts are easier or harder to brainwash have their cognitive behavior managed than the Girl Scouts that are models? At what point do the models and modeled anomalies coincide?</sarc>
I find it a horrible commentary on our society that this systematic indoctrination is accepted as good or normal. No wonder this country’s in the mess that it’s in.

Reply to  nielszoo
December 19, 2014 11:45 pm

Feel free to check out.

December 19, 2014 2:02 pm

But can they sing Tomorrow Belongs to Me?

Joel O’Bryan
December 19, 2014 2:53 pm

Here is the Abstract they submitted for the AGU14 presentation.

Victoria Christine Rodriguez, Matt Lappé, June A. Flora, Nicole M. Ardoin and Thomas N. Robinson, Stanford University, and the Alliance for Climate Education, Stanford University, United States
Ultimately, effective climate change communication results in a change in behavior, whether the change is individual, household or collective actions within communities. We describe two efforts to promote climate-friendly behavior via climate communication and behavior change theory. Importantly these efforts are designed to scale climate communication principles focused on behavior change rather than solely emphasizing climate knowledge or attitudes. Both cases are embedded in rigorous evaluations (randomized controlled trial and quasi-experimental) of primary and secondary outcomes as well as supplementary analyses that have implications for program refinement and program scaling. In the first case, the Girl Scouts “Girls Learning Environment and Energy” (GLEE) trial is scaling the program via a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Troop Leaders to teach the effective home electricity and food and transportation energy reduction programs. The second case, the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) Assembly Program, is advancing the already-scaled assembly program by using communication principles to further engage youth and their families and communities (school and local communities) in individual and collective actions.
Scaling of each program uses online learning platforms, social media and “behavior practice” videos, mastery practice exercises, virtual feedback and virtual social engagement to advance climate-friendly behavior change. All of these communication practices aim to simulate and advance in-person train-the-trainers technologies.
As part of this presentation we outline scaling principles derived from these two climate change communication and behavior change programs.

I wrote in WUWT post about this abstract back in October:

This MOOC from GLEE is to indoctrinate your children now in the Politically Correct aspects of Climate Change and make them resistant to the reality-based facts and data on Earth’s climate! The proposal in abstract echoes back to Projection Bias,, where people subconsciously assumed that all others shared similar values and positions as themselves. Of course the manipulators in this abstract know that children and young adults (i.e., Girl Scouts) are especially vulnerable to this manipulation due to their lack of worldly experience,
As Karthik Narayanaswami of Harvard describes in “Analysis of Nazi Propaganda, A Behavioral Study,” the use of Projection Bias has its roots in pre-WWII Nazi youth indoctrination. Projection Bias reinforced the herd mentality, and reduced the opposition to the National Socialism’s cause. Furthermore, the indoctrination efforts also helped strengthen Ingroup Bias by targeting children, youth, and students in their propaganda, as seen in the picture of propaganda targeted toward German youth. This created a strong sense of communal organization, as was seen in the Hitler Youth programs.

December 19, 2014 5:19 pm

I’m looking for effective posters to put up at the coffee shops I visit. I have been printing out Monckton’s zero trend no global warming charts over the past few months, but I am considering creating a series of posters or pages with other content related to facts about our climate.comment image

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  garymount
December 20, 2014 1:22 pm

Here’s one I like:
CO2 is up. Climate yawns.

December 19, 2014 5:28 pm

“Delivery of embedded social media, online mastery activities and quizzes for the girls”
Another truckload of propaganda workbooks for the “re-education camp”.
There is a bigger problem here with parents who would send their girls off for such indoctrination. Shameful especially since all the solutions converge towards the cluster of socialism, statism, reduced liberty and fewer personal choices.
When they are done with this round of indoctrination, leftists plan on helping these young women explore their sexuality. At least that’s the net result of the Girl Scout’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

December 19, 2014 8:14 pm

“Overall, the project aims to simulate and advance in-person train-the-trainers technologies.”
Leaving alone that nonsensical statement…..I don’t even know where to go now.

Reply to  u.k.(us)
December 19, 2014 9:49 pm

“Overall, the project aims to simulate and advance in-person train-the-trainers technologies.”
Leaving alone that nonsensical statement…..I don’t even know where to go now.

They want to create missionaries to the captive children for their religion.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
December 19, 2014 10:26 pm

And what better time to convert them, than when they are young and impressionable.
It’s child abuse (there I said it).

December 19, 2014 8:38 pm

Isn’t Stanford’s GCEP (Global Climate & Energy Project) part sponsored by ExxonMobil & Schlumberger Limited?

John F. Hultquist
December 19, 2014 9:13 pm

Girl Scouts and the green image – this ought to help their reputation:

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 19, 2014 9:24 pm

What reputation ?
Be careful now, they are being used.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 20, 2014 4:16 am

It’s a Green Blob!

December 19, 2014 11:00 pm

This is sick.

December 20, 2014 1:41 am

So why target just the girls? Do they reckon boys are less gullible (institutionalised sexist groupthink)? The whole project smacks of desperation.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Admad
December 20, 2014 2:49 am

The same as in Germany at the last stage of WWII, when children and old men were called to arms. So don’t wonder if the inhabitants of old-age-homes are next on their list of people to indoctrinate.

December 20, 2014 4:25 am

Get them young and they’ll be yours forever.

December 20, 2014 8:27 am

Teaching energy conservation is fine, the rest is just s’more global warming propaganda…..

December 21, 2014 9:05 am

Promote Climate friendly behavior? Gag.
I have a better 3 point course
1. Respect your environment and neighbors
2. Spend your money wisely
3. Ignore fools.

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