94196 - Basics and Teaching Tools of Geology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Reduced inequalities Climate Action

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows: (a) the endogenous and exogenous processes of planet Earth and those that characterize the dynamic evolution of the lithosphere; (b) the fundamentals of crustal deformations; (c) the different architectures of sedimentary successions and their stratigraphic structure; (d) the basics to classifiy minerals and rocks, the mineral-petrographic genesis and for the reading of geological and geomorphological maps; (e) the fundamentals of geological risk and its characteristics in the interactions between natural phenomena and anthropic activities.

Course contents

  • The fundamentals of the discipline with particular reference to the earth sciences targets as reported in the guidelines for secondary school: Earth in space; the surface of the planet (endogenous and exogenous processes); minerals and rocks (definition and recognition, classification elements); sedimentary successions; volcanoes (forms and products of volcanic activity) and earthquakes (their meaning and distribution, the tsunamis); the structure of the Earth in a geodynamic perspective; plate tectonic; the future of Earth.
  • The interactions between geological processes and anthropic activity. Geological risks: forecasting, prevention and mitigation. Climate change and management of groundwater resources.
  • The teaching of evolving geology: (1) analysis and resolution of the most common misconceptions in the didactics of geology; (2) methods of geology and the scientific method in comparison; (3) strategies for teaching geology: from teaching of Luigi Bombicci to the online teaching in the post covid-19 world; (4) outdoor teaching: using the territory and its museums, as an educational resource.

  • Contents and teaching of mineralogy and mineralogical crystallography, applied and industrial mineralogy, relationships with geo-bio-resources, materials science, cultural heritage, climate change, "big data" and environmental sustainability, bearing in mind the foundations of pedagogy, learning theories and the scientific method.

Course admission requirementsKnowledge of the basic topic in Earth Sciences commonly learned in natural sciences courses and/or at the secondary school.


The teaching material used during the lectures, as well as scietific articles, book chapters and other edu support from the specialized literature will be provided during the course by the teachers and/or deposited on the Moodle platform.

Selected references:

  1. Grotzinger JP, Jordan Thomas H, 2016. Capire la Terra. Zanichelli ed, pp. 752.
  2. Ricci Lucchi M, 2019. La Terra, un'introduzione al pianeta vivente. Zanichelli ed, pp. 256.
  3. Canuti P, Crescenti U, 2008. Geologia Applicata all’Ambiente, CEA ed, pp. 448.
  4. Klein C, Philpotts AR, 2018. Mineralogia e Petrografia. Zanichelli ed, pp. 532.
  5. Chris King (2008) Geoscience education: an overview, Studies in Science Education, 44:2, 187-222.
  6. Hazen RM, Breve storia della Terra, Milano, Il Saggiatore ed, 2017, pp. 430.

Teaching methods

Frontal lecture and group work. The lectures aim to present different teching approaches to motivate the student to learn Earth sciences. Group work will be finalised to facilitate active and collaborative learning between students and teachers. The topics discussed will be available on the Moodle platform.

Assessment methods

Verification of learning The verification of the learning of the geology teaching module takes place through the presentation and discussion of a final paper in which the candidate will prepare a teaching unit on the topics addressed in the geology fundamentals module. The evaluation will take into account the quality of the design and teaching materials. A short oral exam will follow.

Teaching tools

Classrooms will be equipped with: personal computer, video projector, touch-screen and digital whiteboard, video cameras to record lectures, power-point presentations; optical microscopy lab.; edu. collections of minerals and rocks; Microsoft suite for productivity, online education and communication.

Office hours

See the website of Barbara Cavalazzi

See the website of Alessandro Gargini

See the website of Roberto Braga

See the website of Giovanni Valdrè