ERIC Number: EJ855131
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
All Are Worthy to Know the Earth: Henry De la Beche and the Origin of Geological Literacy
Clary, Renee M.; Wandersee, James H.
Science & Education, v18 n10 p1359-1375 Oct 2009
Henry T. De la Beche (1796-1855) began his geological career within an elite circle (Geological Society of London, 1817; FRS, 1819), collaborating with influential gentlemen geologists and publishing original research. When his independent income dwindled, De la Beche managed to secure governmental funding for his mapping projects. This led to recognition of the Geological Ordnance Survey (1835) with De la Beche as director. However, De la Beche's most influential role emerged from his unique position of successfully bridging the privileged circle of gentlemen geologists and the working class of emerging professionals. Henry De la Beche advocated education and knowledge of the Earth for "all" social classes. He used his government influence to lobby for the establishment of facilities and organizations dedicated to geology's growing professionalization and popularization. The Museum of Practical Geology, School of Mines, and Mining Records Office were founded largely through his efforts, and each included educational components. De la Beche believed that geological instruction should transcend social boundaries, and thus he was an early advocate for the instruction of lower classes. Henry De la Beche can be acknowledged as an early champion of geological literacy for the general population.
Descriptors: Geology, Scientists, Science History, Social Class, Science Education, Access to Education, Scientific Literacy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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