Dichotomous options in Earth Sciences Education: brief reflection

Paulo C. Soares


The explosion and dissemination of knowledge and technologies is one of the characteristics of the current time. The teacher is no longer the reference of knowledge or competence. The expansion and deepening of concepts and methods grow exponentially. Knowledge does not provide a clear path to future life success. Earth-related issues are global sustainability concerns. Now, the claim is to pick up and deal with the information to solve specific problems. The expert apps have become powerful tools for learning and professional operations. There is a new student with different problems, social environment and motivations, especially his appreciation for autonomy, in an immense diversity of offers and demands. And there is new ways to learn, more friendly but more away from the real world. What does this change in the curricula and for the teacher and student in the classroom? Two opposite answers are the common behavior: focus on teaching or focus on learning. In the first, good teachers will look for the best subjects, based on gaps and remarkable discoveries and good examples in the body of scientific knowledge and attractive ways of presenting them to students. In the second, good teachers will help and guide students to organize and work to find the most appropriate and motivating issues and ways to deal with them to be useful in their lives. Earth sciences have many problems, solutions and challenges, daily in the news and in the surroundings of place and student life. Students become proud to be active in the group, in his real world, according to his needs, his challenges; and they need help and guidance in this process. Teachers will focus on the motivations of these students to build their knowledge, their being, their skills, their professional abilities, their commitments as citizens and the reasons to lifelong learning.


Teaching-learning; Environment issues; Expert apps; Student motivation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20396/td.v14i3.8653528


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