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Earth Science/Geology in UK Schools today

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Earth Science/Geology
in UK Schools today
Prof Chris King
Education Dept, Keele University
Director, Earth Science Education Unit
Chair, Earth Science Teachers’
Association Secondary Working Group
www.earthscienceeducation.com
Earth Science/Geology
in UK Schools today
пЂµA-level entry
пЂµGCSE entry
пЂµEngland & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
пЂµWhat the educational research shows
пЂµThe Earth Science Education Unit
пЂµWhat HE could do
www.earthscienceeducation.com
England and Wales - A-level
Advanced level Geology entries by gender
U.K. 1971-2004
4500
4000
3500
entries
3000
2500
2000
1500
1000
500
0
03
20
01
20
99
19
97
19
95
19
93
19
91
19
Female
89
19
87
19
85
19
83
19
81
19
79
19
77
19
75
19
73
19
71
19
Male
Total
пЃі A-level entry was falling steadily - it plateaued but fell again last
year
www.earthscienceeducation.com
England and Wales - A-level
пЃі as a percentage of all A-levels - similar
www.earthscienceeducation.com
England and Wales - A-level
UK 1971 - 2004
пЃі Falls in comprehensive schools - a plateau in sixth form colleges
www.earthscienceeducation.com
England and Wales - A-level
Advanced level Geology and Environmental Science entries
U.K. 1971-2004
6000
5000
entries
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
03
20
01
20
99
19
97
19
95
19
93
19
91
19
Geol total
89
19
87
19
85
19
83
19
81
19
79
19
77
19
75
19
73
19
71
19
ES total
Geol & ES total
пЃі Having overtaken Geology, Environmental Science A-level
has fallen below Geology recently
www.earthscienceeducation.com
E & W - AS-level
пЂµ New AS-level looked promising - but it is falling too particularly boys
www.earthscienceeducation.com
E & W - AS- A- level figures
пЂµ
пЂµ
пЂµ
пЂµ
2004 A-level Geology - 1689
2004 AS-level Geology - 2148
2004 Environmental Science - 1215 (around 1/4 geology)
2004 GCSE Geology - 709
пЂµ In 2000, 367 centres were teaching A, AS or GCSE Geology
пЂµ 2 Awarding Bodies (Exam Boards -WJEC, OCR) offer A and ASlevel
пЂµ 1 Awarding Body (WJEC) offers GCSE Geology
www.earthscienceeducation.com
E & W GCSE - 2005
(14 - 16 year olds)
пЂµ 92% (583,1000) examined in Science
) Double
пЂµ 71% (450,900) examined in Add Science) Award
пЂµ 7% (46,000) examined in Biology, Chemistry &
Physics (- �triple award’)
Key Stage 3 (11 - 14 year olds)
percentages of 113 statements
Astronomy - 4.4%
Earth science 4.4%
Scientific enquiry 16.8%
Biology - 29.2%
Chemistry - 18.6%
Physics - 26.5%
пЂµ 30% (188,400) examined in Geography full courses
and 2% (36,200) in short courses
пЂµEarth
science%
difficult to
calculate
пЂµ < 1% examined in Env. Science (water cycle, supply
and conservation) - AQA (a total of 7,600 students
пЂµAround 1/4
took �other sciences, that include Env. Science and
ES/geology
Geology)
 <1% examined in Geology – WJEC (709)
www.earthscienceeducation.com
пЂµAll
ES/geology
England and Wales
Earth Science education is supported by:
 The Earth Science Teachers’ Association, since 1969
пЂµ The Earth Science Education Forum (England and Wales), since
2002
пЂµ Earth Science Education Forum - Cymru, since 2006
пЂµ The Education Committee of the Geological Society, since 2006
пЂµ The Earth Science Education Unit, since 1999
www.earthscienceeducation.com
Scotland
пЂµ No Earth science is found in the science curriculum
пЂµ However, Earth science is found in the 5 - 14 Geography and
Science curricula - taught by primary teachers and Geography
specialists
 Geology is taught at �Higher’ level - at about 40 centres - this
number is falling
пЂµ Because of major concern about the low level of Earth science in
Scottish schools, the Scottish Earth Science Education Forum
(SESEF) has been formed
пЂµ A full time Development Officer has been appointed - supported by
Scottish Heritage funding
www.earthscienceeducation.com
Northern Ireland
пЂµ The Earth science in the NI National Science curriculum was
removed during one of the curriculum revisions
пЂµ Earth Science in the NI National Geography Curriculum is very
limited
пЂµ The ES2K group has been formed to lobby for geology, first in
Northern Ireland and now across all Ireland
www.earthscienceeducation.com
Earth science educational
research
Subject Specialism of Teachers currently teaching
National Curriculum Earth Science at KS3 (n = 162)
пЂµ Most teachers
teaching Earth science
are biology, chemistry
or physics specialists
Other
2%
Geology
2%
Biology
32%
Physics
31%
Chemistry
33%
www.earthscienceeducation.com
Earth science educational
research
пЂµ Their background is poor
2% 4%
26%
N o E S b a ckg ro u n d
23%
u p to 1 6 a n d n o h ig h e r
to A-le ve l
s o m e E S a t d e g re e le ve l
o th e r o n ly
P G C E p a rt o n ly
8%
37%
Course texts for 11-14 year olds (KS3)
пЂµ Most use, as their main
resource, science textbooks
written for pupils or use
their own colleagues
Course texts for 14-16 year olds (KS4)
Other school science textbooks
Textbooks covering only NCS Earth science
Worksheets published for NCS Earth science
Geology/ES textbooks for 14-16 year olds (KS4)
Geology/ES textbooks for 16-18 year olds (A-level)
Popular Geology/ES books
Popular TV programmes on Geology/ES
Distance learning degree course publications (OU)
Distance learning TV materials (OU)
Materials published by government departments
Professional development (INSET) provided locally
Professional development (INSET) provided nationally
Assistance from colleagues in school Geography Dept.
Assistance from colleagues in school Science Dept.
0
10
20
30
40
Number
www.earthscienceeducation.com
50
60
70
80
Earth science educational
research
The government Council for Science and Technology survey
supported these findings
пЂµ Use of information by
secondary science teachers
Use of information by secondary science teachers
- CST report (n = 576)
used frequently
used occasionally
used rarely
Textbooks
Other books
Videos
CD ROMs
Periodicals
Courses
Colleagues
0
10
20
30
Sources of third party materials used by
secondary science teachers - CST report (n= 576)
used frequently
used occasionally
used never
not aware of resources
Industry publications
Society publications
пЂµ Third party material
used by teachers
Government
agencies
Charities
Museums
ASE
0
10
20
30
40
50
www.earthscienceeducation.com
60
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Earth science educational
research
пЂµ The mean error level in the
Earth science content of
science textbooks - 1 per page
Mean number of Earth science errors per page of science textbook
Mean
KS4 - 10
KS4 - 8
KS4 - 6
KS4 - 4
KS4 - 3
KS4 - 1
KS3 - 11
KS3 - 9
KS3 - 7
KS3 - 5
KS3 - 3
KS3 - 1
0
пЂµ Major errors shown by
teachers - pre-workshop
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
Percentage of teachers who showed
major errors in answering the question
Knowledge of how density changes with depth in the
Earth
Knowledge of the states of the layers of the Earth
from the lithosphere to inner core(solid, partial solid,
partial liquid or liquid)
Knowledge of the plate tectonic contexts in which
heat flow is likely to be high or low
Knowledge of which earthquakes are likely to be of
deep focus origin
Understanding of which volcanoes are likely to have
magma of mantle origin and which of plate-melt origin
Re-assembly of Pangaea
Understanding of how �S’ wave velocities change with
depth
Knowledge of the thickness of the crust
0
10
20
30
40
50
Percentage
www.earthscienceeducation.com
60
70
80
90
3.5
Earth science educational
research
пЂµ The results of an analysis by Joyce and Showers
of 200 studies of the effectiveness of staff development amongst
teachers
(“Effective” = have some measurable effect on pupils)
In s e t
p ra c tic es
P ro vid e
in fo rm a tio n
a n d th e o ry
... p lu s
d e m o ns tratio n
... p lu s
o p p o rtu n ity to
p ra c tic e
... p lu s g ive
fe e d ba ck
... p lu s
p ro vid e
c o ac h in g
E ffe c t o n te a c h e rs ...
k n o w le d g e
s k ill
p ra c tic e
w h a t th e y k n o w
w h a t th e y ca n d o
w h a t th e y d o in
th e cla ss ro o m
S om e
None
None
S om e
S om e
None
S IG N IF IC AN T
S om e
None
S IG N IF IC AN T
S IG N IF IC AN T
L ittle
S IG N IF IC AN T
S IG N IF IC AN T
S IG N IF IC AN T
www.earthscienceeducation.com
The Earth Science Education
Unit
90 minute workshops presented to:
пЂµ secondary science departments across England and Wales
пЂµ upper primary teachers in Scotland
пЂµ PGCE science students in teacher training institutions
in order to:
пЂµ enhance their background Earth science knowledge
пЂµ showcase a variety of engaging Earth science activities
пЂµ enhance effective use of practical activities in science
пЂµ develop critical thinking and investigational skills in pupils
www.earthscienceeducation.com
www.earthscienceeducation.com
The Earth Science
Education Unit
пЂµ Small central team, Director,
Administrator, Researcher
пЂµ Facilitators appointed,
trained and available across
Great Britain
пЂµ 38 in England/Wales
пЂµ 12 in Scotland
пЂµ facilitators paid only for
workshop delivery
пЂµ low fixed costs + great
flexibility
www.earthscienceeducation.com
The Earth Science Education
Unit
Sc hools
KS3 s tr ategy
Meetings /c onf er enc es
PGCE ins titutions
Sc otland
A mbas s ador ial
Other
350
300
N u m b er o f v isit s
250
200
150
100
50
0
1999- 2000
2000- 2001
2001- 2002
Ye ar
Workshops
more than 4,400 teachers teaching more than 1,080,000 pupils
more than 3,200 trainee teachers
2002- 2003
2003- 2004
Ambassadorial events
more than 5100 adults
more than 4700 children
www.earthscienceeducation.com
2004- 2005
ESEU progress
пЂµ Evidence for impact on the day
High п‚« Low
1 2 3 4 5
I found the effectiveness of the INSET to be пѓѕ п‚Ё п‚Ё п‚Ё п‚Ё
The interest of the INSET was
пѓѕп‚Ёп‚Ёп‚Ё п‚Ё
The relevance of the INSET was
пѓѕп‚Ёп‚Ёп‚Ё п‚Ё
The value of the INSET to me was
пѓѕп‚Ёп‚Ёп‚Ё п‚Ё
Most common responses from 2601 workshop questionnaires 2003-2005
www.earthscienceeducation.com
ESEU progress
Comments from teachers:
“I was made to feel enthusiastic about earth sciences, which I
never thought would happen.”
“the activities were simple enough to use in lessons without major
resource implications. ”
“Gave me ideas for teaching what can be a 'chalk and talk' subject.”
“…good activities will give me much more confidence in classroom…”
“An introduction to something I know nothing about.”
“I won't think rocks are so boring in future.”
“I am appalled that I have been teaching Earth sciences incorrectly
- as I got my references/ideas from published science books! This
workshop gave me the opportunity to learn more…”
“The best INSET day I have ever had.”
“…bloody hell - it's clicked, wow!…”
www.earthscienceeducation.com
ESEU progress
Change in classroom practice (2005):
пЂµ 47 schools contacted a year after workshop
пЂµ 15 responded to questionnaire:
• 12 had rewritten their Scheme of Work (SoW) to include ESEU
activities
• 2 were in the process of revising their SoW
• 1 does not have SoW, but were using new ESEU activities
пЂµ On analysis of levels of use of individual activities:
• 6 schools showed significant increase
• 4 schools showed moderate increase
• 5 schools showed modest increase
www.earthscienceeducation.com
What can HE do?
Not:
 �galvanise the Earth Science Teachers’ Association (ESTA)’
But:
 support the Earth Science Teachers’ Association (ESTA) and its
work with the Earth Science Education Unit
And the best method of support is …..
www.earthscienceeducation.com
What can HE do?
… to encourage your local secondary schools to invite ESEU to
present one or more of the free ESEU INSET workshop to them
You could do this through:
пЂµ a schools loan scheme (Leeds)
пЂµ an undergraduate ambassador scheme (Cambridge)
пЂµ including an Earth science communication module in your degree
(Edinburgh) - and testing it on local schools
пЂµ employing a part-time person to link to local schools (Derby?)
…. WITH THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF INTRODUCING ESEU TO THE
SCHOOLS
www.earthscienceeducation.com
What can HE do?
Attending the ESTA Seminar for Schools Liaison Officers in HE:
пЂµ Bristol University
пЂµ Friday 15th September
пЂµ Part of the meeting a joint one with A-level teachers - to promote a
dialogue
пЂµ Focussed on sharing ideas
пЂµ ВЈ50 for the day
пЂµ For more details, contact the Conference Organiser, Martin
Whiteley - mjwhiteley@yahoo.co.uk
www.earthscienceeducation.com
Earth Science/Geology
in UK Schools today
Prof Chris King
Education Dept, Keele University
Director, Earth Science Education Unit
Chair, Earth Science Teachers’
Association Secondary Working Group
www.earthscienceeducation.com
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