Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 40/2016

Can a website make high school teachers without a geological background more self confident towards Earth Sciences teaching?

Lorenzo Lancellotti (a), Chiara Invernizzi (a) & Eleonora Paris (a)
(a) School of Science and Technology, Geology Division, University of Camerino, Via S. Agostino 1, 62032 Camerino; Italy. E-mail:

Volume: 40/2016
Pages: 22-30


The development of virtual tools for teaching science at school has increased really fast. Anyway, the largest part of the web production is in English and it seems to be not really well known and regularly in use by Italian teachers. The purpose of this research is: 1) to evaluate the need of an updated web tool for Earth Sciences teachers in Italian, 2) to select the main themes it should contain, 3) to create it, and 4) to test the website on a sampling group of teachers. The project develops virtual lessons that are a sort of "repository" for the most interesting and useful Earth Sciences existing tools and to adapt them to Italian schools, in order to provide an effective support to science teachers without a geological background. The first part of the research was devoted to understand teachers' needs and select the themes to work on. It was carried out using a first questionnaire sent to the teachers who inscribed their schools at the Natural Science Olympiad. By the analysis the collected data the priority topics to work on were selected and a pilot session was produced. This session was tested on the starting sample of teachers and additional new ones, and a feedback about its usefulness was collected using a second questionnaire. On the basis of the feedback, three new didactical units were developed and uploaded in the website and finally they were tested using a third specific questionnaire. The results underline firstly as non-geologists Italian teachers feel the need of digital learning objects for teaching Earth Sciences, than that they can be supported by a website like the proposed here in the daily teaching activity. On the other hand, it is quite clear from the results, that Italian teachers are really attached to a traditional way of teaching and they consider the technology mainly as a way for enriching their standard frontal lessons.


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