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Vol. 125 (2016) No. 6 特集号:ジオパークの教育力—教育から学習へ— p. 795-812




 Education on geopark activities is regarded to be a fundamental element for promoting sustainable development in local communities of the region. Implementation of school and social education on the Geopark Concept has progressed since the Global Geopark designation in 2009. In school education, a new education plan called the Unified Education Policy for Children Aged 0 through 18 was set up to promote geopark studies among schools in cooperation with the City Board of Education and the City Government. Having recognized the important role of Geoparks in school education, the City Board of Education has included geopark studies as a program within the compulsory education curriculum of subjects such as science, geography, and integrated studies. By following the education plan, the City Board of Education has continued to provide support to school teachers with the following results: outdoor and indoor training programs have been held by teachers' organizations and Itoigawa Geopark Council, showing educators how geoparks can be used in classroom education. Supplementary textbooks for grades 3 through 9 have been published and distributed, providing invaluable resources for the study of earth science and history, as well as regional culture. Citywide Geopark Studies Conferences have been held to give students opportunities to share what they have learned. An exchange program has been begun for elementary and junior high school students with Itoigawa's sister geopark in Hong Kong. In social education, new educational activities such as the Geopark Certification Exam for citizens, Geopark Guide Training Program, and Geopark Master Program linking businesses to the geopark have been set up by the Geopark Council. These educational systems have become popular among citizens, fostering pride in their hometowns and geoheritages, and related resources of global value. Based on that sense of pride, local residents have begun to promote regional development using geopark resources.

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