Most of us are geoscientists because we enjoy being outdoors. What is that connection to Earth that draws us to try and understand our planet? Is there a link between our curiosity about how Earth works and our desire to be connected to it? How do our students connect to the natural world they live in? Is this different than our (educated) connection? How do students in urban settings differ in their connection from those in rural settings? How can we enhance our students experience with nature while competing with educational mandates that shift learning away from, rather than toward this connection?
We are missing something by ignoring this connection. We affect Earth and Earth affects us. Using this connection allows us to teach to the whole person, nurturing a deeper understanding of Earth materials and processes, and empowering them to act. Connection with the natural world leads to social action to protect and heal our planet from human activity. Connection with our planet allows us to embrace the connection with each other. Teaching in this aspect of the affective domain can help us motivate our students to become responsible citizens who want a role in managing the human impact on our planet.
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