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Teaching sustainability knowledge in a comprehensible and effective manner

In collaboration with CCES@School, the MINTLearning Center at ETH Zurich has developed two additional new teaching units, one on geothermal energy and one on landscape genetics. The goal of CCES@School is to provide teaching materials for secondary school students that cover novel scientific knowledge on environmentally relevant issues. CCES@School ensures that teaching materials fulfill high scientific and pedagogical quality standards. This is accomplished through collaboration between experts from both fields, ensuring that not only the latest scientific findings but also recent results of empirical research on learning and instruction are integrated into the teaching units. The latter include cognitively activating forms of learning, such as inventing with contrasting cases that prompt self-explanations and the use of holistic mental model confrontations.

Here is an example for such a holistic mental model confrontation, taken from a teaching unit on geothermal energy:

CCES@School Laienmodell
CCES@School Expertenmodell

Compare the lay model (left) with the expert model. What characteristics do they share? Where do you find differences? (Illustration: MINT-Learning Center, ETH Zurich)

These teaching units are disseminated by seminars for teachers as well as by the teacher education program of ETH Zurich. For further information, visit our website:

Author/Contact: Ralph Schumacher; MINT-Learning Center, ETH Zurich,

The teaching units were organized as part of the GEOTHERM-1 / GEOTHERM-2 project and the project GeneMig.

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Tue Jun 27 02:02:18 CEST 2017
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