New GeoContext Collection Provides a Model for Incorporating Social and Political Context in Geoscience Higher Education

published Nov 9, 2021 2:29pm

Nov 5, 2021

Teaching materials created by the GeoContext team, a group of students and educators, are now available online in SERC's Teach the Earth library. The new GeoContext teaching collection is a set of resources that bring social and political context into topics commonly taught in undergraduate and graduate geoscience courses.

The eight teaching modules now available in the Teach the Earth collection provide Powerpoint slides and companion guides to educators looking to address historical precedents and make their own curricula more just and equitable.  Each set of slides relates to one or more domain-specific topics often taught in geoscience courses, such as isostasy in a tectonics or structural geology course, or meteorites in an introductory course.  The slides focus on historical figures, motivations for studying the subjects,  research methods, and representation in STEM fields as they intersect with colonialism, environmental justice, and specific topics related to social justice.  Companion guides for teaching with the slides are also provided.

Educators are encouraged to supplement their own lectures and activities with these materials, and to consider other ways that the effort to contextualize geoscience topics in terms of culture, and address racism, colonialism, and social injustice inherent in the historical research and teaching of geoscience.

To learn more about the GeoContext project, visit the GeoContext site in Teach the Earth or browse the  GeoContext teaching materials.