Using Research to Promote Action in Earth Science Professional Development for Teachers

  • Chris King
Part of the Innovations in Science Education and Technology book series (ISET, volume 21)


This chapter shows how research has underpinned the development of the Earth Science Education Unit’s professional development initiative at all stages, by indicating its necessity, effectiveness and success.

The necessity has been shown by the following:
  • Pre-ESEU research showing the poor educational backgrounds of the science teachers teaching the Earth science component of the National Curriculum for Science, their dependence on science textbooks written for pupils and on their colleagues, the lack of practical, investigational and field activities in their teaching and their low usage of Earth science materials and professional development

  • Pre-ESEU research into problems with the Earth science content of syllabuses and examinations

  • Textbook analysis, showing the poor quality of many of the textbooks used by science teachers

  • Misconception analysis, showing the wide range of misconception in the system

The effectiveness has been illustrated by the following:
  • High level of post-workshop evaluation maintained throughout the initiative

  • Research demonstrating the impact of ESEU workshops on teaching in schools

The success has been indicated by the following:
  • Large numbers of teachers and trainee teachers who have participated in ESEU workshops across the UK

  • Increasing take-up of ESEU workshops by teacher education institutions across the country

  • Continuing support and encouragement of ESEU by the oil industry through its unique industry/education partnership in maintaining the little gem

This research around necessity, effectiveness and success has enabled ESEU to develop guidance for others planning to develop similar initiatives elsewhere in the world.


Professional Development Science Teacher Earth Science National Curriculum Continue Professional Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am most grateful to Annette Thomas of Oil & Gas UK and Malcolm Webb, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK, for their long-term financial and business support. I am also very grateful to Peter Kennett for co-running the pilot ESEU; to Bernadette Callan for managing ESEU for much of its history; to the successive Chairs of the ESEU Steering Committees, Martin Whitely and Steve Harris and to all the ESEU facilitators and members of the Central Team at Keele, past and present, who have supported the ESEU so strongly over many years.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Science Education UnitKeele UniversityKeeleUK

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