Earth science teaching – challenges and rewards

Knowledge in Earth science is very important in building a nation. Almost everything we do every day is somehow connected with the Earth: its land, oceans, atmosphere, plants, and animals. The food we eat, the water we drink, our homes and offices, the clothes we wear, the energy we use and the air we breathe are cultivated, absorbed, surrounded or moved around the planet. According to the American Geological Institute (AGI) Foundation, eight billion people will live on Earth by 2025. This number of people will undoubtedly continue to extract resources in order to maintain a high quality of life. Since we use all the resources that we receive from the Earth, then we, as individuals and citizens, need to know more about our planet – its processes, resources and the environment. And it is only through education in Earth sciences that students can understand and appreciate our complex planet. During this time, the old and the young must join their hands and help each other in the serious task of building a nation, the young learn from the wisdom and experience of the elders, the elders recognize the impatience of the youth. However, not all young students are willing to cooperate in order to acquire the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for a safe future. Therefore, it is the teacher’s task to facilitate learning so that high quality education is acquired by students. This article will discuss the different challenges facing the teacher in transmitting knowledge about Earth sciences in public secondary schools, as well as the positive aspects of learning this subject.



My first experience in teaching earth sciences was gained in September 2005 in one of the public secondary schools in Davao Oriental, specifically in District 1. I remember the first day when I entered a class of more than fifty (50) classrooms crowded with students. Some of them talked to their classmates, others dealt with different tasks in their places, etc. The first day I entered the classroom, I remember the first day when I entered the classroom with more than fifty (50) students crowded in the classroom. The first question that appeared in my mind at that moment was: how can I draw the students’ attention? When I introduced myself to them as their new science teacher, I saw different emotions that reflected on their faces. There were emotions of excitement, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety, happiness, and so on. I’m not sure if they were prepared for the new lessons on Earth sciences. I am not sure if they are prepared for new lessons on Earth sciences. I did it in order to know if they are interested in the subject, or to know which subjects they like the most and why they love the subject. From this, I found out that out of more than fifty (50) students, only four (4) said that they like science. When I asked them why they did not like science as a subject, the common answer was an answer: “Science is a difficult subject. From this experience, I learned that students would have difficulties in learning the subject if they did not like it. Indeed, teaching Earth sciences to graduates or secondary school students can be difficult, ‘if students are not motivated or if they are not interested in the subject’.

There are several ways to motivate students to take an interest in the Earth sciences. From my own experience, in the lesson, I used songs – songs that are easy to learn and often heard by students. I used the melody of a particular song and changed the lyrics to fit the topic I am discussing. There are also songs that are presented to us in seminars that are very helpful because students can more easily remember certain scientific concepts by singing songs again and again. An example is these songs: “We are a Researcher”. – In the melody “Ako’y Isang Pinoy”; “Sistemang Harana” in the melody “Harana”, popularized by Parokya ni Edgar, this underlines the importance of the scientific method in solving the problem; “Super Science” in the melody “Superman”, emphasized on the contribution of science to improving the quality of our lives; and the funny song “Youngsters Love Science”. After the introduction of these songs, I found them useful in memorizing scientific concepts, concepts and processes. This makes me happy to hear some of my students sing these songs and share them with their friends.

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