Geological Fieldwork: A Study Carried Out With Portuguese Secondary School Students

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Articles and Special Issues
Esteves, H., Ferreira, P., Vasconcelos, C., & Fernandes, I. (2013). Geological Fieldwork: A Study Carried Out With Portuguese Secondary School Students. Journal of Geoscience Education, 61(3), 318-325.
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Recognizing the relevance that fieldwork and field trips have in the teaching of geosciences and related learning processes, this study presents two geological fieldwork studies that were established with Portuguese secondary school students. Both studies were focused on geoscience content knowledge, and attempted to increase environmental awareness and highlight geoheritage values. Following the Orion model (1993), the fieldwork was established in three stages (the preparatory unit, field trip, and summary unit), which facilitated its implementation and subsequent assessment. Both studies took place in regions in the north of Portugal. One field trip was undertaken at the coastal area of Vila do Conde and the other on the left bank of the Minho River, in Monc ̧a ̃o. Since a mixed methods research design was applied, different data types were collected and triangulated. Results indicate that the fieldwork was effective in terms of facilitating the development of conceptual knowledge, motivation, and diverse competencies. These results contribute to the recognition of fieldwork as an important strategy in geoscience education and geoscience awareness. The study also highlights that the relevance of fieldwork should be recognized by Portuguese curriculum designers and should be incorporated in the Portuguese science curriculum.

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