• geoscience education;
  • Earth and space science teacher education;
  • undergraduate enrollment;
  • scientific literacy;
  • sociocultural research


A lack of qualified teachers and low enrollment in the geosciences exist at both secondary and tertiary levels in the United States. Consequently, it is unlikely that students will be able to achieve scientific literacy without an increase in both of these populations. To address these problems, we pose research questions, highlight sociocultural theories, and provide examples of other science education research as possible avenues by which to explore these related problems. We argue that such research studies are necessary to inform science education policy and advance national scientific literacy. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:121–129, 2010