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ERIC Number: EJ1164210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Geoscience Education and Global Development
Locke, Sharon; Libarkin, Julie; Chang, Chun-Yen
Journal of Geoscience Education, v60 n3 p199-200 Aug 2012
A fundamental goal of geoscience education is ensuring that all inhabitants of the planet have knowledge of the natural processes that shape the physical environment, and understand how the actions of humans have an impact on the Earth on local, regional, and global scales. Geoscientists accept that deep understanding of natural processes requires an appreciation of the complex Earth system on a global scale. Concurrent with the expansion of the discipline of geoscience education is the work of the international community at large on the very ambitious United Nations 2015 Millennium Development Goals (United Nations, 2000). The goals are meant to be a blueprint for action by governments and nongovernmental development organizations to ensure that all humans have their basic needs met, regardless of the country in which they were born and live. The Millennium Development Goals are important because they can be a frame for designing and measuring geoscience educational activities within developing countries. Of eight goals, two stand out as deserving attention by the geoscience education community--Universal Education and Environmental Sustainability. Universal Education is based on the hope that all children will have the opportunity to complete a full course of primary schooling. Geoscience educators have a potentially very large contribution to make to universal education by offering place-based, locally relevant science education on topics of critical importance to communities. These topics, such as water, natural hazards, and resource development, bring larger global concerns, such as energy and climate change, to a relevant, local level that can affect individual lives. Equally, geoscientists bring critical expertise to the goal of Environmental Sustainability, aimed at ensuring the continued existence of environmental resources, biodiversity, and safe drinking water. International experiential learning in geoscience undergraduate courses, such as water well construction and repair projects (e.g., Webb et al., 2011; Greenberg et al., 2012), provides immediate assistance for improving environmental sustainability, and in the long term can increase a community's ability to respond to environmental challenges. Within this global context, "Journal of Geoscience Education" has devoted a portion of this issue to the theme of geoscience education and global development. The motivation for the theme is threefold: (1) the number of geoscience educators working on projects that contribute to development goals is growing; (2) the unique experiences of educators in developing countries can inform research and practice in the developed world; and (3) a diversity of perspectives from educators across a range of contexts is needed to reach the goal of Earth systems literacy for every global citizen. The five papers included in this section offer a range of perspectives on international geoscience education and serve as an excellent introduction to a broad topic. The papers also serve to highlight opportunities for further discussion and collaboration between the developed and developing worlds.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A