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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Using an Earth System Approach > Designing an Earth System Course > > ESS Matrix: Preservice Teachers
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Earth System Science Course Design Matrix for Preservice Teachers

3rd grade students visiting 14C lab

While Earth system science is a very broad topic, the topics which an elementary or middle school teacher need to master are stipulated by the National Science Education Standards, as well as the science standards developed by each state. The course design matrix below identifies the Earth science topics included in the National Science Education Standards.
Course outline examples:

How to Use this Table

The following table shows a matrix for designing an Earth System Course for pre-service teachers. Matrices are a good way to think about designing an Earth System course in that it illuminates the relationships between typical topics in Earth science and the parts of the Earth system. This matrix is particularly helpful in looking at interactions between two subsystems. For more information on using course matrices, see Course Design Matrix

Earth System Science Course for pre-service teachers
Primary causal mechanism
Acting on lithosphere Acting on atmosphere Acting on hydrosphere Acting on biosphere Acting on anthroposphere Acting on exoshpere
Rock cycle, stratigraphy, plate tectonics Geological hazards
Soils and wind erosion Salty ocean, ocean currents Carbon cycle Oxygen prerequisite for aerobic life
Water erosion, landforms Water cycle Water as prerequisite for life
Soils Photosynthesis Ecology
Renewable vs. nonrenewable resources Space travel
Earth energy balance Seasons, atmospheric circulation Comparing suitability of other planets for life Origins of the solar system

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