Perspectives on Earth and Space Sciences Educational Research

Introducing PESSER

The AGU Education Section launched our Perspectives on Earth and Space Science Educational Research (PESSER) – a series of opinion pieces on recently published educational research studies in the field of Earth and Space Sciences - in April 2020. Now in its second volume, the PESSER series aims to highlight subjects that are relative and novel in the educational section of earth and space sciences.

The September 2021 issue of PESSER (Vol. 2, Issue 4) is contributed by a Japanese team of authors, Ryota Yamaura (4th-year undergraduate student) and Hidenori Nakamura (Associate Professor). This issue is the first PESSER where the original version is in the authors' first language of Japanese, with an English version also provided by the authors and the Education Section's Communications Team. In this issue, the authors share their thoughts on how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may broaden STEM students' perspectives, support a sense of ownership in processes within and beyond formal education, and encourage mindsets for innovation. The authors also share an overview of how contemporary environmental education must be adaptable in order to address unsustainable aspects of modern society.

In Issue 3, Molly Witter positively frames adaptations in instruction required by the COVID pandemic as beneficial ways to increase overall accessibility and accommodation in classes at the University of Akron. Even as we shift towards a post-pandemic world, Dr. Witter suggests that some COVID-related adaptations should be retained because they support broader accessibility and inclusion.

As the COVID pandemic continues into 2021, so does adaptation by educators and students, as discussed by Wonsuh Song in an interview by Vincent Tong. Issue 2 marks the first PESSER structured as an interview.

Olivia Helinski, a senior undergraduate at the University of Portland, kicked off the second volume of PESSER with the first issue of 2021. Helinski's article focuses on adaptation during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes a positive and inspiring message about the importance of a growth mindset.

We hope that you find the series a good way to engage with ideas from recently published educational research!

Full PESSER Series

Volume 2  (2021)
Volume 1  (2020)
  • Issue 5, December 2020: "Education for Sustainable Development for 2030: Why it matters to us all" by Fumiko Noguchi
  • Issue 4, October 2020: "Resilience Approach for Advancing Sustainable Development Goals: From University Education Fields" by Mika Shimizu
  • Issue 3, August 2020: "Empowering Students to Act" by Lisa Gilbert
  • Issue 2, June 2020: "Inclusive Earth and Space Science Education: (Re-)challenging our assumptions" by Vincent Tong
  • Issue 1, April 2020: "A potential way to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on earth and space sciences education: immersive technologies" by Shahab Karimifard