Interactive activities to stimulate debate and critical thinking about issues related to Earth sciences and sustainable development

Alessandra Magagna, Elena Ferrero, Cristina Giannatempo

Abstract


During the International Year of Planet Earth (2007-2009), the Department of Earth Sciences of Turin University and a local Museum of Natural History promoted a project entitled, Understanding how the Earth works: from local situations to global processes. In this context, two geothematic exhibitions on the Cape Verde Archipelago were designed and staged in local museums. The exhibition called Getting to know a volcano in order to live with it was the subject of action research that involved the design of interactive activities and the analysis of data collected during guided tours conducted with students of different ages. This study allowed the demonstration of the effectiveness of teaching strategies in which relevant Earth sciences topics are proposed, like risk and sustainable development, thus stimulating debate among the students. This approach enhances the cultural experience of individuals by sharing it with other people. The aim was to widen their awareness of the cultural value of the territory, and to stimulate a new critical way of thinking about the Earth sciences. These didactic tools were further developed when they were proposed and pursued by experienced museum guides and teachers, who were able to involve not only institutions (museums and schools) in the knowledge construction process, but also families, relatives and the local community.


Keywords


Earth science education; Sustainable development; Exhibition; Action research; Critical thinking

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-5625
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X