Inspired by international Polar Research and Education experiences, and based on a research case study about the dynamics of a glacial system from Antarctica, this work aims to promote innovative science education practices and methods on Geosciences topics in the Italian school. In particular, a group of teaching modules including lesson plans and media resources is here proposed, based on the Inquiry-Based Learning approach, not yet widespread in Italy. These resources could be effective in promoting polar sciences or, more in general, geosciences in the Italian secondary-level schools. Polar Regions represent one of the most interesting and important natural environments that can engage students on topics related to global changes. Understanding how Earth records its past and how scientists gain evidences about these records are important educational goals to give not only a deeper knowledge, or simply more notions, but overall a major awareness about how Earth system works. The necessity to bridge more intensely school and research world is consequently even more urgent. This work aims to enhance the linking between formal and non-formal education that is here proposed through a project involving both pure research and research applied to education. In fact, the project aims to conjugate a disciplinary research case study with the design of specific educational paths benefiting of cuttingedge research and innovative teaching strategies as well. The basic concepts of the inquiry-based learning approach here adopted are that students have to construct actively their own learning and have to be involved also in their own assessment. Therefore, this approach promotes a student-centred education and, at the same time, changes completely the role of the teacher, from a content transmitter to a facilitator. The sequence of different stages of the project can be resumed as follows: 1. start from data coming from a real case study about Antarctica, in order to understand how an Antarctic glacial system worked in the past; 2. evidence a number of core ideas that progressively have suggested teaching ideas and activities; 3. collect teaching ideas and group them in consistent modules; 4. identify the possible IBS questionings; 5. design and produce the instructional materials including a. lesson plans in teacher and student version, b. hands on laboratories, c. video laboratories, d. mini video-lectures, e. smart board lessons; 6. organize all the materials in teaching modules, logically linked to each other; 7. promote the testing of all the resources in the school; The past and future behaviours of the Antarctic ice sheets are of considerable interest to scientists and policy-makers, on account of climate feedbacks and global sea level changes. In particular, there is a strong evidence that the fluctuation of atmospheric CO2 concentration is strictly related to the extension of Antarctic ice sheets, and there are threshold in this sense that determine glaciation (DeConto and Pollard, 2003) or deglaciations effects (Pollard and DeConto, 2009). The key role of Antarctica on the global climate is also particularly highlighted in the last IPCC report (2013). The research path focused on sedimentological-petrographic data analysis of the uppermost 200 m of the 1284.87 m-deep AND-1B drill core recovered by the international drilling project ANDRILL beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS), in the austral summer 2006/07. The drill site was near to Ross Island that lies at the southern end of the Victoria Land Basin (VLB), a structural half graben, approximately 350-km long, hinged on its western side at the Transantarctic Mountain front. Major rifting in the VLB has occurred since the latest Eocene, perhaps having been initiated in the Cretaceous, and has accommodated up to 10 km of sediment (e.g., Cooper and Davey, 1985). The percentage of core recovering has been extremely high (about 98%) and consequently the AND-1B core provides the most complete Antarctic record to date of climate and glacial/marine history spanning the last 13 Ma (Naish et al., 2008). The MIS project had two key scientific objectives (Naish et al., 2007): 1. provide new knowledge on the late Neogene behaviour and variability of the Ross Ice Shelf and the West and East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and their influence on global climate, sea-level, and ocean circulation; 2. provide new knowledge on the Neogene tectonic evolution of the West Antarctic Rift System, Transantarctic Mountains, and associated volcanism. On the basis of the 11 facies within the sequences described in the AND-1B core, three facies associations or sequence ''motifs'' were identified to major changes in ice-sheet volume, glacial thermal regime and climate (McKay, 2009). The data analysis presented in this work is related to morphology, lithology and abundance of clasts present in this 200 m core section, focusing on their variability across each glacial surface of erosion (GSE) that represents the trace of past advance of ice sheet above the drill site. The lithostratigraphic log and related chronostratigraphy of the 200 m-deep core section, [...] shows that the investigated section will be considered representative of Pleistocene as well as of Late (Upper) Pliocene (Naish et al, 2007; McKay, 2009, 2012; Wilson et al., 2012). In particular, the following data sets collected by previous sampling, macroscopic observations and preliminary petrographical analyses were examined: 1. hand-drawn log (clast log) sketched by Prof. F. M. Talarico that took part to the expedition in the Italian team 2. data base A on dimensional and shape of sediments, collected more randomly by sedimentologists of the ANDRILL project (Krissek, et al. 2007). 3. pictures and dynamic arrangement of the core from the virtual core analyser (http://www.coreref.org) 4. high resolution pictures downloaded form the repository of ANDRILL project (Krissek et al., 2007). As preliminary product of the elaboration of the previous material a final database was compiled: 1. data base B including dimensional characteristics of sediments along the core, plotted per 10 moving centimetre. Clast classification in six major lithological groups (volcanic rocks, intrusive rocks or granitoids, metamorphic rocks, sedimentary rocks, dolerites, and quartz) was based on previous evidence from distinctive macroscopic features, and confirmed by microscopic analysis on selected clasts (Pompilio et al., 2007). After the exam of all data, a series of ratios and symbolic or numeric indexes has been designed in order to compare graphics and plots and to identify possible patterns. In particular, trends about total clasts and total clast per lithologies, classation and granulometry, clast shape and provenance, across the glacial surfaces of erosion have been examined. From this analysis, some trends emerged that can be grouped in four different patterns, named A1 A2 A3 and B. A proposal of correlation of these patterns concludes the research case study comparing with previous evidence of the glacial system behaviour in the Pleistocene and Upper Pliocene. The research path and its results suggested some teaching core ideas that drove selection of topics and design of all the resources included in the teaching modules here presented in the Appendix (A and B). In order to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the project, some of the resources have been tested by a group of teachers and pupils. The testing was based on a volunteer teachers group organised in a blended course, in part in presence, in part in e-learning, in which teachers were trained about topics and laboratory procedures. After the course, these teachers experimented the same activities in their classrooms, giving a feedback about them. The elaboration of testing results allowed a general evaluation of the resources from a didactic point of view. In particular, it has led to didactic characterization of each resource in order to facilitate their portability and use in the classrooms. The teaching modules will be in fact available for teachers and other educators in the Internet and downloadable for free from a dedicated website linked at www.unicam.it/geologia/unicamearth. Because of the twofold nature of this project, consisting in part in pure research in part in research applied to teaching, the structure of this work has been designed in the following chapter sequence. Chapter 1 â€“ This chapter presents the background of the project, highlighting the motivation and the purpose that drove the choice of topics and the teaching approach here promoted. An overview about the stages of the work is also included. Chapter 2 - This chapter focuses on the background features of the disciplinary part, or ''case study'', related to the present work and to the motivation that inspired it. The general setting of the area is presented and discussed on the basis of the references, from the glaciological and geological point of view. A group of teaching ideas is finally suggested that drove the educational path, developed and discussed in chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 3 - This chapter focuses on the description of materials, methods, data analysis and the results from the research case study. The analysis performed in this work is based on clast features never investigated before at this resolution, in particular total and relative clast amount, clast size and shape per lithology and clast provenance p0er 10 moving centimetre. Special attention is given to identify possible trends related to advance and retreats of the glacial system, focussing on trends evidenced across the glacial surfaces of erosion along the core section. The paleoenvironmental interpretation is finally proposed, particularly effective also in the educational context. Chapter 4 - This chapter includes a short review about the historical-epistemological analysis of the Inquiry-based Learning here adopted. A survey is also proposed on methods and procedures adopted to design and develop the instructional resources linked to the case study analysed in the chapters 2 and 3. The characteristics of all the eleven teaching modules produced are evidenced, including student worksheets and teacher worksheets as well as media resources like video-lectures, video-labs, and lesson for interactive whiteboard. A full example of the teaching module number 11, ''Antarctica and the secrets of past climate'' is included and described. Chapter 5 - In this chapter the testing activity is presented discussing the parameters adopted to evaluate the educational efficacy of the instructional materials and the possibility to use them to the classrooms. The testing group recruitment and the theoretical principle for testing are described, proceeding then with the storyboard of the testing activity. The discussion of the testing analysis is finally presented highlighting the problems that have emerged during this stage of work. Chapter 6 â€“ This chapter includes the outcomes and the conclusion of this work. Some suggestions are proposed about open issues that could be developed at a later stage. Appendix A, B â€“ The appendix A includes the student worksheets, the Appendix B the teacher worksheets of all the teaching modules not previously presented, numbered from 1 to 10. Annex â€“ In the annex all the plots and graphics related to the research case study can be found. Media resources â€“ This includes the video files and interactive whiteboard lessons.
|Titolo:||Educational resources to teach Geosciences in the Italian schools based on a research case study from Andrill and-1b drill core, Antarctica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||22-mag-2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato (Pregresso)|