Teacher and Student Perceptions of Earth Science and Its Educational Value in Secondary Schools

Jason P. Betzner, Edmund A. Marek
2014 Creative Education  
Earth science educators struggle to gain an equal footing in the K-12 curriculum with the life and physical sciences. The low number of students taking Earth sciences courses is at odds with the National Science and Education Standards (National Research Council, 1996, 2012) that gives equal emphasis to Earth and space science (ESS). The purpose of this investigation was to analyze students' and teachers' perceptions of Earth science and its perceived educational values in secondary schools.
more » ... condary schools. The sample for this study consisted of 39 science teachers in public secondary schools, and 46 students taking science in those schools. The instruments for the study included a 14-item Earth Science Teacher Survey (ESTS) and a 14-item Earth Science Student Survey (ESSS) (surveys modified from King, 2001). The results of this study showed that teachers do not think that ESS is as important to the secondary school curriculum as physics, chemistry, and biology. Not unexpectedly, Earth science teachers had more positive perceptions of Earth science and its educational value than non-Earth science teachers. Students in this study had more positive perceptions of Earth science and its educational value than teachers. These students also reported a high level of enjoyment learning about Earth science and a high interest in learning about ESS topics.
doi:10.4236/ce.2014.511116 fatcat:of3s4ye65fcl5mkfpwdxi3c5ty