Rusty soils – “lost” in school education
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Wydział Nauk o Ziemi i Gospodarki Przestrzennej; Katedra Gleboznawstwa i Kształtowania Krajobrazu, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, Polska
Submission date: 2021-05-06
Final revision date: 2021-08-30
Acceptance date: 2021-10-28
Online publication date: 2021-12-31
Publication date: 2021-12-31
Corresponding author
Magdalena Urbańska   

Wydział Nauk o Ziemi i Gospodarki Przestrzennej; Katedra Gleboznawstwa i Kształtowania Krajobrazu, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, Lwowska 1, 87-100, Toruń, Polska
Soil Sci. Ann., 2021, 72(4)143466
Rusty soils cover about 15% of Poland's territory and they are the most important type of soil used in the forest management. Polish soil scientists know these soils very well but, unfortunately it seems, that students who come to environmental studies know very little about them - less than about other soil units. Does electing rusty soil as the Polish Soil of the Year 2021 present an opportunity to change that? The aim of this paper is to diagnose what is the availability of information on rusty soils at the level of education in secondary schools and what is the state of knowledge about these soils in the broad non-academic community. Three main research methods were used: querying geography textbooks, querying internet sources and survey method. Information on rusty soils is rather not presented in textbooks. Of the 17 analysed websites - 8 lack any information on those soils. Coefficient of Information Availability (CIA) for rusty soils is one of two lowest among all studied units. Respondents assessed the knowledge of rusty soils lower than most of other Polish soils but they would like to learn more about them. Additionally, the low level of knowledge about it does not reduce its recognition: respondents had no problem to recognize rusty soil on the base of photograph and to distinguish the correct number of genetic horizons. The Year of Rusty Soil is a great opportunity to introduce young people to these soils. Field lessons can combine soil education with ecological issues. Rusty soils can be seen as optimal choice for these activities. These soils could be an perfect type to increase public awareness of soils at all but especially with regard to common soils important to our local environment.
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