Education, Teaching Training, Educational Technology and Communication in Natural Sciences
The line of research in education, teacher training, educational technology and communication in Natural Sciences (ECN) encompasses studies of theoretical and practical nature on the relevance – for Education and Teaching – of knowledge of Natural Sciences, with an emphasis on Earth Sciences. It is a well-known fact that natural processes over Geological Time created the environment in which communities now live and evolve. The line of research covers different levels of schooling from primary education to post-graduation and teacher training. The central issue to be answered is: to what extent are Natural Sciences present on a wide scale in the school curriculum and formal and informal education programmes? The multiple answers arising from this theoretical question may include: a) the need for new conceptions to ensure a more harmonious coexistence of societies with nature; (b) educational innovation to create new competencies and skills, with regard to Geosciences in particular and Natural Sciences in general; (c) the importance of people understanding that the phenomena studied by the Natural Sciences interfere with and determine their lives and the scenarios/contexts of the societies to which they belong. This research encompasses the nature of knowledge in Geology, Geosciences and Natural Sciences; the teaching-learning process, curricular policies, curricula and programmes in relation to different levels of teaching, teacher training, scientific dissemination, teaching-learning, teaching material, educational technology and environmental education. The production of teaching resources has been subjected to research within the scope of Communication and Informal Teaching in Geosciences, an area present in the context of the production of EHCT professors and which deals with the disclosure of content and concepts related to Natural Sciences and Earth Sciences, including the analysis of institutions, material supports, processes and means of spreading scientific knowledge. The ECN line of research involves a permanent effort to propose, assess and develop academic and political activities geared to improving the Teaching of Natural Sciences, from primary school to higher education level.