Place-based and culturally informed geoscience education
Geoscience is part of human culture. Cultural worldviews influence and contextualize the ways that we study and teach about the Earth system. We teach geoscience in and by means of localities that are also places imbued with intellectual meaning and emotional attachment through human experiences in them. Meaning and attachment constitute the sense of place, which encapsulates the human connection to natural and cultural landscapes and regions. Indigenous and long-resident groups hold rich senses of their homeland places. Their place-based systems of traditional knowledge include unique and intellectually significant ethnogeological observations and concepts. Place-based and culturally informed approaches to geoscience education are richly situated in specific places and regions, meaningfully integrate local knowledge and interests with broader geoscientific principles and methods, leverage the senses of place of students and teachers, and promote environmental and cultural sustainability. Place-based and culturally informed geoscience teaching, in formal or informal settings, offers unique potential for engaging Indigenous and other underserved students, while also appealing to more diverse groups of learners. The field of place-based and culturally informed geoscience education—including curriculum development, effective teaching, and authentic assessment—is still comparatively new and full of potential. This symposium is intended to feature examples of this locally situated pedagogy as it is practised around the globe.