Paper No. 273-6
Presentation Time: 9:40 AM
A TRANS-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH IN TEACHING EARTH SCIENCE: INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE INTO EARTH SCIENCE CURRICULUM UTILIZING AN INTEGRATE TEACHING MODULE
Introductory Earth Science curriculum is often structured to teach the principles of Earth Science from a fact-based or systems analysis approach. Various pedagogies (think-pair-share, minute papers, gallery walks, jigsaw technique, etc.) utilizing these approaches to engage students in thinking about the Earth and its systems. However, our role in society in these systems in rarely integrated into the curriculum of higher education on a large scale. The concept of Environmental justice or the fair treatment of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies, is often a difficult topic to integrate into Earth Science curriculum. Through the InTeGraTe Program, an educational module was created to incorporate Environmental Justice into college level earth science courses utilizing various pedagogical approaches. The InTeGraTe module utilizes these educational pedagogies to engage student’s understandings of the hydrological system and the role society plays in its sustainability and management through the perspective of various Environmental Justice issues worldwide. The utilization of Environmental Justice cases involving freshwater resources allows students to explore aspects of the hydrological cycle from a unique and eye-opening perspective. A successful integration of the module, as part of course curriculum in introductory geology courses, has recently been implemented at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas at El Paso.