Skip to main content

Earth system science in schools: Teaching geoscientific content with the help of instructional videos

There is an urgent need to include Earth systems sciences (ESS) in the school curricula in order to enable the next generation to understand that the Earth is a dynamic system and its global problems such as climate change or the sustainable use of georesources as discussed by the 2022 report of the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences.            

Right now, geosciences are not explicit part of the German school curriculum. Basic knowledge of the earth sciences is currently only taught in geography classes and occasionally in physics, chemistry and biology classes. But geography and all science teachers do not receive qualified training in Earth system sciences as part of their studies. While they rely on textbooks for their teaching, geoscientific texts and illustrations in many textbooks currently used in schools contain errors, especially concerning the dynamic of the solid Earth.

The German Geological Society (DGGV) currently develops a series of about 10 minutes long educational videos with text and figures on the Earth system on its website, in which basic geoscientific knowledge is conveyed. The videos are aimed specifically at teachers in schools, but also at students and interested laypeople. First tests in school education settings by individual teachers have revealed that they are a useful and welcome aid for teachers in their classrooms.


Martin Meschede1
1Universität Greifswald, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023