In the Bachillerato upper High School 16 to 18 years Sciences branch students

In the bachillerato upper high school 16 to 18 years

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In the “Bachillerato” (upper High School: 16 to 18 years) Sciences branch students have the possibility to attend several optional subjects with geological contents: “Biology and Geology” in the first year (17 years) and “Earth and Environmental Sciences” in the second one (18 years). Unfortunately, “Geology”, an optional subject of the second course, is only taught in a few Spanish high schools. However, we may congratulate ourselves as in the “Bachillerato” a new subject called “ Ciencias para el Mundo Contemporáneo” (“Sciences for the contemporary world”) is part of the curriculum for all students. This subject includes aspects like how our planet works, geological risks, genome or the origin of the human species. In this way, it is important to insist that Earth Sciences (or Geology) ought to be considered at the same level as: Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Geology provides responses to certain questions that are far from being superficial from a scientific point of view. Furthermore, Geology being a Science with a huge learning value has also an important cultural content. Knowledge regarding Planet Earth and the changes it has experienced through times is not a Life Science or Earth Science exclusive issue but a cultural good whose knowledge ought to be widespread within the society. Therefore, Geology has a basic role to play in scientific culture as well as in culture considered in a broad view. Nonetheless, these are not good times for Geology and it results in the need to join forces for those who are committed with the teaching of this subject. From this point of view, Associations and Societies are a main platform to channel any kind of initiative targeted in this direction.
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75 What is the AEPECT? By the end of the seventies, Geology became for the first time in Spain, a separate subject to be taught to 17 years old students in their last year before university. The fact that most of the teachers involved in teaching this subject were biologists by education encouraged a small group of enthusiastic geology teachers to organise the first “Symposium on Geology Teaching” in Madrid in 1980. Since then, fifteen meetings have been organised: the last one in Guadalajara in 2008 and the next one to be held in Teruel in 2010. They provide the participants the opportunity to meet and share class experiences, good practices, teaching strategies, etc. In 1990, it was clear that the organisation of such events ought to be supported by some kind of institution that could take care of other activities in between meetings. This was the birth of the AEPECT (that stands for Spanish Earth Science Teachers Association) that today has 1.500 associates present in Spain and many Latin-America countries as well as in Europe The main aims of AEPECT are: (1) Supporting the presence and contribution of Earth Science in the education of citizens; (2) Encouraging the exchange of educational investigations and experiences among Earth sciences teachers; (3) Stimulating the scientific and didactical updating of
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