This session encourage geoscience educational researchers across Europe to submit abstracts that will inform others of the work they are doing and contribute to networking amongst educational researchers worldwide

Convener: Chris King | Co-convener: Steven Rogers
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

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Chat time: Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 14:00–15:45

D3594 |
Angelika Renner and Ingrid Wiedmann

Scientific teaching cruises are a popular part of marine science courses in undergraduate and graduate education, but cruise time is under severe pressure due to financial and logistical constraints. In this study, we investigate the role of ship-based fieldwork in facilitating student learning in marine science education. In particular, we explore the contributions of different course components, such as lectures, seminars, and laboratory exercises, towards student learning in two undergraduate and one graduate course. Results from an online survey and interviews with students, teachers, and teaching assistants suggest that undergraduate students tend to learn most during the lectures and the cruise. Conversely, graduate students appear to learn most when conducting ship-based experiments and during the preparation of the cruise report. While the teaching cruise is probably a course component that is less focussed on transfer of knowledge in forms of facts and theories than e.g., lectures and seminars, they are effective for students to consolidate and to learn to apply their knowledge. In addition, the teaching cruise contributes considerably towards the development of practical and soft skills, such as group management and communication, which are highly valued by potential future employers. We therefore argue that teaching cruises provide a valuable teaching platform that goes beyond the mere dissemination of scientific content and train students in skills applicable to any future career.

How to cite: Renner, A. and Wiedmann, I.: What do we gain from cruise-based teaching in marine science university education?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1273, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1273, 2019.

D3595 |
Laura Riuttanen and Mikko Äijälä

Climate change and the sustainability crisis require urgent actions in all fields of the society. Recently in Finland, the nationwide Climate University project (blogs.helsinki.fi/climateuniversity) was established by the funding form the Ministry of Education and Culture to advance teaching of climate and sustainability topics in Finnish higher education. The Climate University network consists of 11 universities as well as universities of applied sciences all around Finland and includes collaborators from schools and the working life.

In the beginning of the project, a study of needs was conducted. We asked our collaborators about the needs of higher education in the time of climate crisis. The answers emphasized on multidisciplinarity, holistic understanding, data and statistics, science communication, including the private sector and markets, consumer perspective, as well as values and ethics.

Based on the study of needs, we will produce the following open access learning materials by the end of 2020: Systemschange.now - Systems thinking in global challenges; Sustainable.now - Introduction to sustainability in climate change; Solutions.now - Project course in private sector collaboration; Climate.now for schools - High school level course on basics of climate change; Climate data and statistics - Statistical tools for analysing climate data; and Science communication in climate change.  

Open learning principles were already piloted in the Climate.now project in 2016 (www.climatenow.fi) and the Climate.now courses (2-5 ECTS) are currently run in eight universities in Finland. We have also produced open online courses on the multidisciplinary topics of sustainability leadership (www.leadforsust.fi) and circular economy (www.circularnow.fi). Collaboration and co-creation with multidisciplinary experts from all across the society has been highly fruitful, and we foresee Climate University has the potential to thoroughly reshape and re-create the Finnish climate education field.   

How to cite: Riuttanen, L. and Äijälä, M.: Climate University: climate education collaboration within universities in Finland, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1636, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1636, 2019.

D3596 |
Susanna Occhipinti

The teaching learning of Earth science, particularly the Italian schools, where the research has been developed in the last ten years, has highlighted a widespread lack of knowledge among students, which corresponds to a lack of sensitivity in the common thought towards geological and environmental issues, to its territory, moreover often characterized by widespread disruption phenomena and natural hazards.

 As a consequence, too often the culture of geosciences is understood as a culture of emergencies and not of prevention. It is a priority to promote a widespread culture of natural hazards, the knowledge of natural phenomena, the danger inherent in the geological evolution of the territory, the responsible use of the environment, the perception of phenomenon as part of the dynamics of the Earth. This research presents a path,  defined with disciplinary objectives and specific skills to be developed and monitored, with the aim  to contribute in spreading a greater awareness of the dangers derived from natural phenomena. The training of students must pass through more effective methodological and educational approaches, active teaching, inquiry and investigation, promoting competences and skills. Since it is experienced that the usual transmissive approach of this content is not proving effective, a PBL approach was experimented. The different steps are to raise awareness of the  territory in which one lives, through a geological and historical analysis of the context, the understanding of the natural and inevitable evolution of the territory, the speed and frequency with can occur, the surface that can be affected by different natural phenomena and the transformations into risks factors. Finally, awareness that their knowledge is the basis for preventing and vulnerable contexts is needed.

The research has highlighted the need of new and more effectives educational tools and paths, that has product a widespread awareness towards the need of a repertory of practical activities. These applied, investigative and hands-on activities have shown growth of skills and competences in the involved students. The double result of a greater awareness of environmental dynamics and risks and of greater skills, technical, such as knowing how recognize relationships, and of citizenship, seem to have been achieved.

The  experience has also discoved new needs: the development of a unique and more consistent  epistemology of the discipline,  that is capable of giving links and coherence to phenomena, materials and processes, closely interconnected, but too often not recognized as a disciplinary unicum.

How to cite: Occhipinti, S.: A problem-based learning approach to increase the awareness of students towards natural risks and hazards: a case analysis , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1881, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1881, 2019.

D3597 |
Péter Szilassi, Viktor Pál, László Szőllősy, Anett Kádár, and Andrea Farsang

Geography education has faced numerous problems in Hungary lately: students’ diminishing interest in Geography, lack of creative and engaging textbooks and educational materials, decreasing weekly lessons, and conservative teaching practices. The MTA-SZTE Research Group on Geography Teaching and Learning set out to change the current circumstances. Our research group aims at laying the foundations for the methodological renewal of Geography education by developing activity-based and problem-oriented educational tools and IT innovations.

One of our central goals is to develop and prepare worksheets for students which concentrate on the geographical characteristics, processes, and problems of some typical Hungarian landscape units as well as cities, and villages. The worksheets, which will be accompanied by a handbook for teachers, are intended to be used from Grade 8 to Grade 13 both in primary and secondary schools. Each worksheet focuses on individual study areas (typical landscapes or regions) and settlements. They all have the same size (4 pages per worksheet) and follow the same structural principles: a short and informative text on the study area, which is followed by activity-based exercises and projects, all of which make use of various challenging and creative exercises comprising of maps, charts, pictures, newspaper articles, blogs, games, and QR codes linking to additional interactive websites.

Our research group also developed the items and the interface of an online survey with which we measured the efficiency and the applicability of the worksheets with the help of volunteering students and teachers who agreed to test them in class. The worksheets were tested in the primary and secondary schools that are affiliated with the research group. The 114 students and 5 teachers who tested the worksheets had to fill in an online survey, and evaluate the worksheets on a 5-point agreement scale, where 1 was the worst and 5 was the best score.

Preliminary results show that the content suitability of the worksheets, with respect to the target age groups’ cognitive abilities, scored low (2.85 average points). The clarity of the subject requirements for the students has the lowest average score (2.75 points). These results can be explained with the main characteristic of the worksheets, i.e. problem-solving thinking. Activities based on problem-solving are very new methods for Hungarian Geography teachers, therefore the teaching goals of this worksheets are is not clear for them.

However, according to the teachers’ responses, the concept of student worksheets is very innovative and adaptable to the needs of the present education (4.65 points), and frees from racial, gender, ethnic, religious prejudice (4.9 points). The teachers also have very positive (4.65 points) opinion about the diversity of the illustrations (pictures, diagrams, graphs, schemas, maps, etc.).

According to the students, the worksheets are very useful for group- and pair-work (4.04 points). The types of questions and exercises are very diverse (4.16 point). Most of the students (57%) visited almost every additional websites of the worksheets with the QR codes.


How to cite: Szilassi, P., Pál, V., Szőllősy, L., Kádár, A., and Farsang, A.: A case study on the efficiency of activity-based Geography teaching and learning, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2853, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2853, 2020.

D3598 |
Norihito Kawamura

In the Geopark, there is a need to foster an interest in the earth and a better understanding of geoscience for young people during educational programs. The ideal method would be to educate this in the classes, in schools to accomplish these goals, but the teachers are unfamiliar with the Geopark in Japan. Recently, some programs have been developed and presented by some teachers in all cities and towns in San’in Kaigan, UNESCO Global Geopark. The author surveyed the data in a real-life situation in educational practices and found some outcomes and subjects about the program. One distinctive outcome is the complete education at the elementary school level. Some subjects are enhancing middle-school level education and the evaluation of the program.

First, the author found good practices in some areas. All elementary school students study at the geo-sites, but junior high school students are presented with lesser opportunities. Second, there is a need for more efficient evaluation functions in the area because improvement methods for educational programs in Japan have not been developed.

There must be authentic educational programs and appropriate evaluation to promote the educational activities for students in the Geopark. In Japan, school teachers are responsible for curriculum design based on the course of study, which includes standard curriculum. They could request local specialists such as guides in the Geopark to teach the students. In such a case, the teachers must evaluate the learning results. However, they might not mark their students’ performances because they do not know the Geopark. Therefore, teacher training programs, focusing on the Geopark, must be promoted.

How to cite: Kawamura, N.: Results and subjects about compulsory school education in the Sanin Kaigan, UNESCO Global Geopark, Japan, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3784, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3784, 2020.

D3599 |
Valeria Satriano, Roberto Colonna, Carolina Filizzola, Nicola Genzano, Teodosio Lacava, Nicola Pergola, and Valerio Tramutoli

Innovation process is a very slow process especially when local regional authorities (LRA) are involved. Such an issue is further amplified when new advanced technologies/data should take the place of traditional and well-established approaches. A full exploitation of data acquired by satellite sensors, as well as of the relative services developed, has been limited in the latest years by the lack of expertise on this topic, at different level, from the general public to the human resources working at LRA and SME’s premises. This circumstance indicate the clear need of academic institutions to develop different targeted curricula for different potential users (students/researchers, SME professionals, LRA managers, etc.) of Earth Observation (EO) data and GeoInformatic (GI) tools. In the framework of the EO4GEO and CopHub.AC EU projects, the University of Basilicata (UNIBAS) is experimenting new, ad-hoc, EO/GI curricula and training tools. Among the different initiatives carried out so far, the Copernicus Young Ambassador Day is a quite simple and easily replicable action that has received evident consents in the latest years. A short course on EO/GI is offered to interested representatives of SMEs and Local Regional Authorities who are invited to identify possible applications related to their specific field of interest. These “user needs” are offered to the students of the Remote Sensing course at UNIBAS in order to propose their own possible technological solutions based on EO/GI technologies. Such solutions are presented in a public session to the representatives of LRA, SMEs and, for a feasibility evaluation, to the UNIBAS researchers.  During this exercise SME and LRA personnel receive a basic education enabling them to better understand the potential of available and incoming EO technologies; students have the occasion to proof their acquired skill facing real problems.  In this paper, after a general description of the EO4GEO and CopHub.AC projects, a summary of the main achievements of several Copernicus Young Ambassador days will be presented and discussed.

How to cite: Satriano, V., Colonna, R., Filizzola, C., Genzano, N., Lacava, T., Pergola, N., and Tramutoli, V.: The Copernicus Young Ambassador Day: a replicable example for new technologies uptake by SMEs and Local Regional Authorities , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8927, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8927, 2020.

D3600 |
Clemens Kramm, Henryk Hodam, Carsten Jürgens, Claudia Lindner, Annette Ortwein, Johannes Schultz, Fabian Selg, and Andreas Rienow

„I want to remind the students that asked me the questions, that you are the future of science, technology and exploration. You have that flame. You teachers are fanning the flame, so it becomes a fire of curiosity and future exploration. We trust your generation to come up with the questions and the answers that we need to be better humans in the future.” – Luca Parmitano, Commander of the International Space Station (ISS)

Remote sensing and space travels have become a major tool for research and development in terms of scientific problems since the 1970’s. You don’t have to be an astronaut or pilot to get in touch with the many achievements, applications and scientific findings. Everyone and especially pupils are using them on a daily basis. Therefore, to deliberate the use of these technologies in school is crucial. The topic of remote sensing and space travels is quite complex and diverse, so many teachers are struggling to integrate them into their lessons. The main goal should be to support teachers by providing useful remote sensing school material and to encourage them to use these in their lessons. However teachers need the right science-based tools to fan “the flame, so it becomes a fire of curiosity”. To assist them in an effective manner it is necessary to adapt to their standard procedure of preparing a lesson: a fully developed teaching concept which includes not only the analysis of the topic itself but also the current curricula, the class, the didactics, the method and the material. Thereby it is possible to demonstrate how beneficial and well-grounded such a lesson can be.

The presentation addresses the question of how synergies of human space travels can be used to educate pupils and enhance the fascination of earth observation imagery in the light of problem-based learning in everyday school lessons. It will be shown which possibilities the topic of earth observation from space holds ready for teaching the regular curricula and how teachers can appropriately justify the appliance in their lessons. A comprehensive teaching concept example will be discussed, which matches german teaching standards and uses NASA’s High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) videos from the International Space Station (ISS) to enrich a secondary school geography lesson about the different geographic zones on earth.

How to cite: Kramm, C., Hodam, H., Jürgens, C., Lindner, C., Ortwein, A., Schultz, J., Selg, F., and Rienow, A.: Earth observation videos in schools– enriching a school lesson on geographic zones with footage from the ISS, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9855, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9855, 2020.

D3601 |
Toshio Arimichi and Norihito Kawamura

In Japan, lower secondary school students study classification of igneous rocks related to geomorphology of volcanoes in science classes.
Most of junior high school science teachers are not good at teaching about this field. It might be due to their poor study experiences in earth science. They studied basic geology only in elementary and lower secondary school science classes because upper secondary school science curriculum have not been covered all fields of science. Consequently, many science teachers prefer to show photographs of rock samples to their students and are apt to avoid instruction of observing rock for identification. This may cause disadvantage for their students to construct the knowledge about plutonism and volcanism. 
To improve instructional methods of basic petrology of igneous rocks, one of us conducted teacher training courses for lower secondary school science teachers. The results and subjects are as follows;
Firstly, an instructor showed three volcanic rocks (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and three plutonic rocks (granite, diorite, and gabbro) to the trainees with no label. The trainees tried to classify the samples into some groups based on any points of views and present the results to others. Through this activity, the trainees would be aware of many points to divide igneous rock into some groups.
Secondly, the trainees observed and divided the igneous rocks into two groups on the basis of those textures. After the grouping, the trainees found the differences of colors among the rocks, and arranged in order from the white one in each group.
Thirdly, the trainees identified these rocks by utilizing a rock chart and references. 
Finally, an instructor talked to the school teachers about relations between diversity and chemical components of magma. 
According to a post questionnaires survey, some teachers replied as follows, "I knew the difference between the stones." "I did not know the points, now I knew it." " I had gained more confidence in instruction." “I feel that I have improved my teaching skills about this field.” In short, some trainees could improve their knowledge of basic petrology and instructional skills. 
It is necessary to conduct training for teachers in order to prevent disadvantages to the students based on the teachers' experiences . 
 I think it is necessary to increase the number of teachers who improve instructional methods of earth science (experimental observation) by conducting training to improve the skills of many teachers.


How to cite: Arimichi, T. and Kawamura, N.: A case of the lower secondary science teacher training course for improving knowledge about classification of igneous rocks, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10646, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10646, 2020.

D3602 |
Emer Emily Neenan and Joseph Roche

The world is facing a future of rising temperature, rising sea levels, and rising incidences of natural disasters. Key decisions in environmental, scientific, and educational policy taken now will determine what kind of world today’s schoolchildren will inherit when they come of age in an era of climate change. This paper reflects on the use of Children’s Research Advisory Groups (CRAGs) in geoscience educational research aimed at informing or influencing future policy. Building from the work of Lundy & McEvoy (2009) and Murphy et al. (2013), CRAGs are a method of including and centring children’s voice in geoscience educational research that will affect them. An ongoing mixed methods study of student engagement with and understanding of Earth Science in Irish secondary schools uses CRAGs to include the voices of school students. These CRAGs are convened in three representative schools in the study and comprise students representative in age and demographics of the participants of the study. The CRAGs are consulted at multiple stages, including before the pilot survey and after results are compiled, and their input guides key decisions within the project, including the language used in the survey, the format of the information provided to schools, and the conclusions drawn. This paper will discuss the benefits and challenges of incorporating children’s voices in research, particularly with regard to educational research and research aimed at impacting climate and environmental policies.

How to cite: Neenan, E. E. and Roche, J.: It’s Our Future, Ask Us: Centring Children’s Voice In Geoscience Educational Research, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11310, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11310, 2020.

D3603 |
Valery Grebenets, Vasily Tolmanov, Vladimir Fedin, and Anton Sinitskiy

The department traditionally holds specialized practices of cryolithology and glaciology. Recently, specialized field course (sometimes international) have been concentrated in the Arctic region of Russia in the south of Yamal. The studies were focused on the investigation of the permafrost features in the regions, on assessing the permafrost dynamics and processes, affected by the various number of factors.

Here, the results of studies dedicated to the assessment of dangerous cryogenic processes impact on the infrastructure of the far north are widely introduced. Unique studies of the level of deformation of the infrastructure of the northern settlements are carried out during the establishment and development of an unfavorable geocryological situation.  Monitoring observations are carried out both in natural and in urbanized conditions,  allow us to compare the intensity of the processes, evaluate the contribution of technogenesis and climatic changes.

Based on the research results, students and researchers receive the necessary data and field results for analyzing the dynamics and changes in geotechnical systems in the context of an increase in the technogenic press and temperature increase in the region.

Investigation is supported by the RFBR project 18-05-60080 “Dangerous nival-glacial and cryogenic processes and their influence on infrastructure in the Arctic”


How to cite: Grebenets, V., Tolmanov, V., Fedin, V., and Sinitskiy, A.: Using the results of dangerous cryogenic processes investigations in student education, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17896, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-17896, 2020.

D3604 |
Rainer Lehmann, Inga Beck, Julia Dooley, Maria Pia Casarini, Neelu Singh, Sophie Weeks, and Betsy Wilkening

Polar Educators International (PEI) is an outcome of the 4th International Polar Year. During this period (2001 – 2009) educators firstly were highly involved in a scientific initiative and a first bridge between scientists and educators was built. Since then PEI grew rapidly and nowadays has almost 200 members coming from all over the world.

The mission of PEI is to highlight and share the global relevance of the Polar Regions with the broader community. Therefore a vital network of educators and researchers are strongly cooperating together with relevant polar organizations such as IASC or SCAR. Thus PEI is able to provide up-to-date educational material for schools, workshop for teachers and many more. PEI Educators are bridging the gap between the scientists and community at large.

All information is available on a robust, flexible, and useful web presence.

PEI is a network that is open to everybody interested in outreach and education with a special focus on the Arctic, the Antarctic and Mountain Regions.

PEI is a common network where educators, scientists and general public can easily access the educative material especially focus on the Arctic, Antarctic and mountainous regions.  

How to cite: Lehmann, R., Beck, I., Dooley, J., Casarini, M. P., Singh, N., Weeks, S., and Wilkening, B.: Polar Educators International: A network of scientists and teachers that brings polar research into classrooms, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21716, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21716, 2020.

D3605 |
Dominik Conrad, Patricia Jaimes, and Julie Libarkin

Interdisciplinary learning is regarded as very important by many science educators (e.g. Hicks, Fitzsimmons, & Polunin, 2010; Begg et al., 2014). However, science education research is mostly focused within the discipline. This study provides a first step towards understanding students' conceptions of the co-evolution of earth systems and life on earth. First-year students (N=293) in the United States and Germany were asked about their conceptions of seven major evolutionary events in Earth’s history and changes to Earth`s size and continental positions over time through  open-ended surveys. The study adresses the following research questions: 1) What conceptions do students have about large-scale changes to Earth’s biology, the position of the continents, and the size of the Earth over long geological periods of time? 2) What relationships, if any, exist between student paradigms about absolute and relative times and their conceptions of changes (and underlying causes) that occur to life and the planet? 3) How do the conceptions differ between American and German students? The presentation will show the main results of the study. The results indicate the needs for interdisciplinary learning in schools.


Bishop, B.A. & Anerson, C.W. (1990). Student conception of natural selection and ist role in evolution. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27 (5), 415-427

Begg, M. D., Crumley, G., Fair, A. M., Martina, C. A., McCormack, W. T., Merchant, C., Umans, J. G. (2014). Approaches to preparing young scholars for careers in interdisciplinary team science. J Investig Med, 62(1), 14–25.

Conrad, D. (2015). Schülervorstellungen zur Plattentektonik. Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Interviewstudie mit Schülern der neunten Jahrgangsstufe [students` conceptions of plate tectonics. Results of a qualitative interview study with ninth grade students]. Zeitschrift für Geographiedidaktik, 43(3), 175-204.

Dolphin, G., & Benoit, W. (2016). Students’ mental model development during historically contextualized inquiry: how the ‘Tectonic Plate’ metaphor impeded the process. International Journal of Science Education, 38(2), 276–297. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2016.1140247

Hicks, C. C., Fitzsimmons, C., & Polunin, N. V. C. (2010). Interdisciplinarity in the environmental sciences: Barriers and frontiers. Environmental Conservation, 37(4), 464–477.

How to cite: Conrad, D., Jaimes, P., and Libarkin, J.: Which conceptions do college students hold about changes to earth and life on earth over time?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22204, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22204, 2020.