Creating curricular change: needs in grades 8-12 earth science Academic Article uri icon


  • The realization that we do not control nature is often associated with devastating loss of life and property. Apparently, humans do not learn from their mistakes, because human tragedies seem to happen repeatedly and minimal modification of human behavior appears to transpire. Because people do not understand the dynamic nature of Earth and Earth processes, specific education to understand and to comprehend the cause and effect of a dynamic earth is needed. The strong economic base and a high literacy rate within the USA should contribute to the ability of the K-12 educational system to create more appropriate human behavior and response to processes shaping Earth. Today major efforts are underway in government agencies, professional societies, universities and by individuals to change what and how students learn about the environment. Curricular reform has been established as new national standards for what students should learn in science in grades K-12. Just having standards, however, does not guarantee implementation, improved teaching by teachers, or increased understanding by students. Science faculties must accept the challenge to provide the pedagogical education for K-12 teachers; teachers must be trained and empowered to implement change; this change must ripple throughout the entire K-12 system. Workshops and innovative materials to support renovations in the curricula are essential to affect change. The World Wide Web will be a major help in information dissemination. However, for success to be achieved, local involvement is fundamental. People with expertise about Earth can have the greatest impact on effecting change by helping neighbors acquire knowledge of the dynamic environment of Earth. The same people (namely you) must become pro-active in K-12 education. 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Marks, S. K., Vitek, J. D., Giardino, J. R., & McQueen, K. C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Marks, SK||Vitek, JD||Giardino, JR||McQueen, KC

publication date

  • October 2002