11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
[G04-07] Some reasons why pupils learn Earth Science in schools
Keywords:Earth Science, values of learning Earth Science, scientific literacy, context-based/led approach
In this research, the author refers to the notion by J. Osborne (2000), and I examine the aims and objectives of Earth Science education. The first argument for the value of learning Earth Science is ‘the utilitarian argument’, which is the view that pupils might benefit by acquiring scientific knowledge and skills from learning Earth Science. The second is ‘the economic and state argument’ claiming that advanced technological and knowledge-based societies need a sufficient supply of scientists and engineers relating to Earth Science in order to sustain their status in the world, and be winners in international economic competition based on high-technology. The third is ‘the cultural argument’, which claims that Earth Science along with the other sciences is one of the great achievements of human culture in the course of history. The fourth one, ‘the democratic argument’, is that we, as scientifically literate citizens, have to make decisions based on scientific evidence about the socio-scientific issues relating to Earth Science such as energy resources and global warming. Especially, the ‘cultural’ and ‘democratic’ values of learning Earth Science should be emphasized over other arguments from the perspective of ‘scientific literacy’. Of course, these four values of Earth Science have both advantages and disadvantages according to the times.
As a result of analyzing these arguments about the value of learning Earth Science in schools, I argue that ‘the pedagogical argument’ - that the learning experience of Earth Science will encourage pupils to become future citizens with scientific literacy and give them direct contact with natural materials, phenomena and environment of the real world, developing an attitude of respect for life, promoting a scientific insight to socio-scientific issues and acquiring an interest in nature conservation, and to make important careers’ decisions (Isozaki, 1996) - should be added to the above-mentioned arguments. To emphasize the cultural, democratic, and pedagogical values of Earth Science, a context-based/led approach should be adequately combined with a content-based/led approach in teaching.
Isozaki, T. (1996). A survey of earth science education in Japan. In D. A. V. Stow and G. J. H. McCall (Eds.), Geoscience education and training: In schools and universities, for industry and public awareness, (pp. 93-107). Rotterdam: A.A. Balekema.
Millar, R. and Osborne, J. (Eds.) (1998). Beyond 2000: Science education for the future. London: king’s College London.
Osborne, J. (2000). Science for citizen. In M. Monk and J. Osborne (Eds.), Good practice in science teaching: What research has to say (pp. 225-240). Buckingham: Open University Press.