pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
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Episodes 2012; 35(4): 481-488

Published online December 1, 2012


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The Arouca Geopark (Portugal) as an educational resource: A case study

Maria Helena Henriques 1,4, Carlos Tomaz 2,4 and Artur Abreu Sá 3,4

1Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal. E-mail: hhenriq@dct.uc.pt
2Escola Secundária de Ponte de Sor, Rua General Humberto Delgado, 7400-259 Ponte de Sor, Portugal. E-mail: cmfstomas@gmail.com
3Departamento de Geologia da Universidade de Trás-os-Montes Alto Douro, Apartado1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal. E-mail: asa@utad.pt
4Centro de Geociências da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reports the perceptions and ideas expressed by students about geological heritage and geoparks and learning results within the framework of a research in science education focussed on students from two classes of 11th grade (ages 16 to 18) of a secondary school in Portugal.
Considering that geoparks can be assumed as territories with educational resources of great importance in promoting education for sustainable development, mobilizing knowledge inherent to the Earth Sciences, and to geoconservation in particular, the activities with the students were held in the classroom and in the field, the latter within a field trip to the Arouca Global Geopark (Portugal). In this context, resorting to strategies of fieldwork in small groups, we sought to explore with students, geodiversity elements recognizable in five of its geosites.
The results of this work show that educational interventions involving both cooperative work and practical work, using the Arouca Global Geopark as a resource for the implementation of fieldwork activities, can contribute to promote significant and relevant learning on geology and on geoconservation, as well as to stimulate curiosity and interest for visiting other geoparks and for learning more about Earth Sciences.