pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
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Episodes 2013; 36(1): 19-30

Published online March 1, 2013


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Geoscience education across the globe – results of the IUGS-COGE/IGEO survey

Chris King

Director of the Earth Science Education Unit, Keele University, Keele, ST5 5BG, UK. E-mail: chris@cjhking.plus.com

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.


An international survey of school-level geoscience education acquired data from 32 countries across the globe. Whilst the data is likely to be biased towards those countries which have geoscience educators active enough to respond to the questionnaire survey, the data nevertheless shows that geoscience is taught in a wide variety of contexts across the world, linked to science, geography or both. The majority of children in the countries surveyed had compulsory geoscience education in their curricula, had national standards in geoscience education, and covered a reasonable level of geoscience terminology in their studies. Optional geoscience courses were taught in most countries, but were only generally available to small numbers of 16-18 year olds. Undergraduate geoscience education courses were available in all the countries surveyed, together with graduate education in all but one. There was a wide variety of outreach initiatives recorded, with those in museums reported to be most successful. A general improvement was possibly discernible, but there is ongoing need of support from national and international geoscience organisations, together with need for increased funding and infrastructure and the raising of global awareness of the importance of geoscience education.