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ERIC Number: EJ1164219
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Educator Perspectives on Earth System Science Literacy: Challenges and Priorities
LaDue, Nicole; Clark, Scott K.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v60 n4 p372-383 Nov 2012
The challenges and priorities of defining and achieving Earth System Science (ESS) literacy are examined through surveys of geoscience educators attending a professional geological meeting. Two surveys with Likert-style and free-response questions were distributed to geoscientists and K-12 teachers to elicit what instructors think are important concepts, experiences, and hurdles to ESS literacy. Survey 1 asked participants open-ended questions about the challenges and priorities of ESS literacy. Survey 2 asked participants to evaluate the importance of various concepts for nonscience majors taking an ESS course. Survey 1 results indicate that the geoscience professors and K-12 teachers place emphasis on the relevance of Earth Science for public decision-making and regard formal education as having an important role in building Earth Science literacy. Respondents identified weaknesses of K-12 ESS education and the lack of respect for the geosciences as substantial hurdles for ESS literacy. Survey 2 results reveal that respondents highly value integrated Earth Systems concepts, such as, Earth systems involve complex interactions between rock, water, air, and life. Less value is placed on fact-like statements that cover a narrow range of content, such as the age of the Earth and that Earth is mostly covered by an ocean. Results from both surveys indicate that K-12 teachers value teaching the interconnectedness of humanity and the Earth more so than do professors. This study identifies geoscience educators' perspectives of Earth Systems Science Principles and reveals the need for a more cohesive movement to promote the importance of ESS and develop ESS literacy in the general public.
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 - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A