Geology in secondary education through Educational Geological walk trails in the urban environment
In this doctoral thesis Educational Geological walk trails in the urban environment are suggested as a successful interdisciplinary teaching approach to Geological Sciences in secondary education. It aims at forming citizens who are active, responsible and aware of contemporary environmental matters, such as management of natural disasters and exploitation of natural resources. Initially some pilot research was carried out in Junior High Schools and High Schools, which are located near areas of geological interest: rivers, streams, hills, mountains, churches, historical buildings and monuments (42nd Junior High School of Athens, Music School of Halkida, Arts School of Gerakas, 2nd Junior High School of Moschato). The control group was also the experiment group at the same time. The students of the schools mentioned above either visited the Palaiontology and Geology Museum of the Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment at the National and Kapodisrian University of Athens, or they attended our teaching intervention in the class. The students’ alternative ideas were confirmed according to bibliography, the necessity of hands-on teaching outdoors was highlighted and the questionnaires before and after research were formed. Pilot interventions then followed in which students walked/explored suitable routes in the urban field (walk trails) and constituted the experimental group (Private Junior High School – High School of Nea Ekpaideutiria Maliaras in Dafni Monastery and Pykrodafni Stream). Apart from the completion of questionnaires (pre-test and post-test) short interviews with students occurred while teachers as observers of the educational intervention, answered the relevant questionnaire. Data were processsed and compared to the equivalent results of triangulation in different students of the same school, who attended teacher-centered teaching and formed the control group. After studying the bibliography, suitable locations were selected which constituted the walk trail for the major research (Historical Centre of Athens –Heridanus and Phaleron War Cemetery - estuaries of Pykrodafni Stream). The criteria of selection are determined according to the interdisciplinary interest in the specific locations. Groups of experiment and control were created and the results of triangulation were compared. 11 Last, as a part of the Project in a 1st Year High School class the interdisciplinary teaching approach of Geoscience was performed with the contribution of Educational Geological walk trails in the urban environment. The experimental group was also the control group at the same time. The students chose the locations, studied the place, planned the walk trail in the historical centre of Athens, they edited a written guided tour and made a mobile phone application with the locations and information about the walk trail. This innovative active learning procedure had some encouraging results as far as the aims and purposes of this specific doctoral thesis are concerned. MODULE: Geological and Environmental Science Education. KEY WORDS: Urban Environment, Educational Geological Walk Trails, field lessons, Educational Research.