The joy of teaching soil science

Alfred E. Hartemink, Megan R. Balks, Zueng Sang Chen, Patrick Drohan, Damien J. Field, Pavel Krasilnikov, David J. Lowe, Martin Rabenhorst, Ken van Rees, Peter Schad, Louis A. Schipper, Marthijn Sonneveld, Christian Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The fundamental purposes of teaching are to impart knowledge, insight, and inspiration. Around the world, university teaching principles are changing as students also gain knowledge and inspiration in ways other than the in class room. Likewise, the soil science discipline is evolving as there is a new set of tools and techniques available by which we investigate soils, and the foci are shifting toward other disciplines and changing research questions. In many universities, the teaching of undergraduate soil science increasingly takes place to non-soil science majors. All these forces require some thinking about how we teach the subject and here we present some of our experiences and ideas of teaching soil science in different parts of the world. Some 15 examples are presented from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and the USA. As the research is widening so is our teaching. The examples are diverse and, despite cultural and personal differences, they show several trends. The cases represent vibrant and creative ways to teach soils, and the initial focus is to create a sense of wonder about the soil and its utilitarian and scientific value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science


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