Earth Science

Hans-Ulrich Schmutz


Hans-Ulrich Schmutz has developed a comprehensive curriculum for teaching earth science in Waldorf/Steiner high schools which is entirely consistent with the developmental stages of high school students.

His consistent and carefully developed curriculum guides the student from geology through the dynamics of ocean currents and global climatology, crystallography, technology, and economic geography to astronomy and paleontology.

All these subjects are provided with new and interesting point of views, which gradually contribute to a discovery of the living and the connection between earth and the human being.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1:
The Origin of This Project
Indications for the Internal Shaping of Life and Earth Sciences Lessons during Classes 1 - 12 (Life Science, Earth Science/Geography)
Stages of Judgement Formation: From the Reflection to the Archetype
Sequence of Steps in the High School Earth Science/Geography Blocks in Europe
About the Characteristics of the Block Reports

Chapter 2:
Geology-Ninth Grade
Introductory Observations:
Grade 9-The Transition between Middle and High School
Why Geology as the Earth Science Block in Grade 9?
Recourses to the Middle Grades
Keeping the Main Lesson Book
The Block Contents:
Earthquake Science (Seismology)
Andesitic Volcanism
Alkaline-Basaltic Volcanism: Hot Spots
The Mid-Ocean Ridges (MOR)
Continental Rift Valleys
The Compression and Dilation Zones of the Earth
General Tectonic Processes and Petrology
A Forward Look to Plate Tectonics

Chapter 3:
The Earth in Motion-Tenth Grade:
The Nature of the Task to Teach Grade 10 According to the Study of Man
Themes of the Block "The Earth in Motion"
Canon of Subjects:
The Flowing Hydrosphere of the Earth: Surface Currents
The Ocean Floor and Deep Water Currents
Relationships between Surface and Deepsea Currents
The Driving Pulses of the Gulf Stream
The Importance of the Gulf Stream
Global Wind Circulation
The Layered Composition (Stratification) of the Atmosphere
Surface Winds
Upper Winds
Relationships between Wind and Water Currents/Flows
High and Lows as Compression and Rarefaction of Air Masses:
High about Meteorology
Plate Tectonics as an Expression of Currents within the Earth's Mantle:
The Interplay of Expansion Phenomena and Compression Phenomena
Polarity between the Pacific and the Atlantic
From the Pulsation of the Single-continent Pangaea to a Multitude of Continents
Why Not Teach Plate Tectonics before Grade 10?

Chapter 4:
Crystallography-Tenth Grade
Preliminary Remarks about the New Block
Investigations of Rock Crystals: The Law of the Constancy of Interfacial Angles between Corresponding Faces
The Three Important Types of Symmetry: Mirror Symmetry, Rotational Symmetry, Central Symmetry
Symmetry Elements of the Tetrahedron
The Kepler Star (Kepler-Poinsot Polyhedron) or the Polarity of the Tetrahedron
The Symmetry Elements of Octahedron, Cube, and Kepler Star
The Development of the Seven Crystal Systems from the Archetype of the Tetrahedron: The Cubic System, The Tetragonal System, The Orthorhombic System, The Monoclinic System, The Triclinic System, The Trigonal System, The Hexagonal System, Summary
The Creation of a Crystal Form Derived from the Law of Symmetry: Garnet as a Rhombic Dodecahedron, Pyrite as a Cube Octahedron and Pentagonal Dodecahedron
Tracht, Habit, and Twinning at the Example of Quartz
The Significance of the Crystallography Block in the Context of the High School Curriculum

Chapter 5:
Earth Science and Surveying-Tenth Grade
Planning of a Forest Road: Process Steps in the Field, Analysis and Quantity Surveying, Epistemological Note
Documentation of Landscape Design for the Preservation of Historic Buildings and Monuments: Surveying of the Salis-Palazzi Gardens in Soglio, Survey of Medieval Grotti
Pedagogic Considerations

Chapter 6:
Aspects of Life Skills, Technology and Economic Geography for Grades 9 and 10
General Conditions
Visiting Factories and Plants in Grade 9
Textile Technology in Grade 10

Chapter 7:
Astronomy-Eleventh Grade
Preliminary Remarks
Epistemological Principles of the Concept of Intentionality (Intentional Relation)
The Sequence for the High School
Purposes of the Astronomy Block-Basics about Grade 11
The Course of the Block: Sun-Earth-Stars
The Discovery of the Ecliptic as the Yearly Path of the Sun
The Platonic or Great Year
The Heliocentric Worldview
Rhythm of the Ice Ages
On the History of Astronomy
Relations to Mathematics and Surveying

Chapter 8:
The Economy of Energy in the Eleventh Grade
Exemplary Flashlights on the Block Content
About the Concept of Energy: Embodied Energy and Harvest Factor
Non-Renewable Energy: The Formation of Raw Materials; About Hard Coal Mining; About Crude Oil Extraction; How Limited Are Non-renewable Energy Resources?; The Non-cycle of the Uranium Technology
Renewable Energy Sources: The Cycle of CO2, in the Use of Wood; Solar Warm Water Generation; Are Solar Systems Cost-efficient?; Converting Sunlight into Electricity; How Much Land Area Already in Use Is Available for the Installation of Solar Cells?
Wasted Energy or Energy Saving: Insulation of Houses: Low Energy Houses; Passive Solar Energy Use: Winter Gardens, Trombe Walls; Combined Heat and Power (Cogeneration)
A Look at the Global Energy Problem: Energy Justice; Technocratic Planning an Illusion?
Pedagogic Considerations

Chapter 9:
Paleontology/Anthropology-Twelfth Grade
About Human Science (Anthropology) in Grade 12 and the Selection of Topics
About the Characteristic Style of the Twelfth Grade Block
A Preliminary Remark about Geological Dating: The Method of Determining Seasons; Stratigraphic Dating; The Method of Geochronology; Geometric Method of Determining the Sequence of Events after Material Motion; About a Characterization of Time
Exemplary Notes about Paleontology
Early Life Processes and First Rock Formations
The Importance of Cyanobacteria: A picture of an Early Landscape; The Formation of Stromatolites from the Activity of Cyanobacteria; A Methodological Interjection; The Importance of Life Processes in the Transformation of Earth
Archaea (formerly known as Archae- or Archeobacteria)
The First Turnaround: Free Oxygen in the Atmosphere
Steps in the Development of Life: The Ediacara Event; The Appearance of the Realm of Animals; The Differentiation of Vertebrates; The Puzzle over the Coelacanth; Reptiles of the Paleozoic; Unfolding and Diversification of Plants; About the Formation of Coal during the Carboniferous
The Global Crisis at the End of the Paleozoic: Excursus: Constant-sized Earth or Expansion Since the Mesozoic?
The First Flowering Plants and the Propagation of Mammals
Indications for Dating the Age of Atlantis
Anthropology: General Indications; The First Achievement; The Upright Stance; The Second Step: Hand-Axes as Documents of Human Thinking and Action; The Third Step: Development of Language; The Neanderthals: Misunderstood Beings; The Appearance of Art During the Last Ice Age
Evolution and Descent: From the Universal to the Specialized; The Human Being in Balance between Self-Being (Individuality) and World-Being
Motifs of Evolution
The Human Being between Procreation and Death Compared to Biological Evolution

Chapter 10
Aspects of Global Economy-Grade 12
Presentation of the Problem
World Nutrition: How is a Fair Price Made? (Wheat Production/Cocoa Production/How Does Speculation on the Future Exchanges of Raw Products Work?
Hunger Is a Problem of Food Dispersal and Poverty: Grains as Feed for the Livestock of the Rich
Goals of the Economy Block

Waldorf Publications
ISBN 978-1-936367-09-2
224 pages
6 x 9 inches

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