The holistic Earth systems educational approach

Leading team

Project members

  • Tamar Basis-Katzman
  • Ron Ben Shalom
  • Orit Ben-Zvi-Assraf
  • Carmit Cohan
  • Jeff Dodick
  • Yaniv Dubowsky
  • Lena Eyov
  • Yossi Gudovich
  • Yael Kali
  • Ronit Laub
  • Hila Lernau
  • Noam Leshem
  • Shira Libarty
  • Osher Merhav-Fishzang
  • Tamar Shechter
  • Molly Yunker


Among the primary aims of the Earth Sciences Group is the development of the holistic Earth Systems Educational Approach, which serves as a powerful framework for the development and implementation of our curriculum. This approach incorporates several key factors:

  • The integration of the outdoor learning environment as a primary component of the learning process;
  •  A model for the integration of learning environments through inquiry-based learning;
  • The development of environmental insight through a holistic Earth systems approach;
  • The holistic emotional-social-cognitive model.

The Integration of these components has led to the development of the Learning Instinct Theory, which disputes the essentialist–reductionist paradigm.
The research evolution of the Earth Science Education Group indicates that the Earth Systems Approach has the potential to greatly stimulate the learning instincts of students by introducing them to the relevance of the subject matter to their personal everyday lives. Once this instinct is active, students cooperate more readily, engaging in inquiry-based learning of their own volition. Consequently, students develop higher-order thinking skills – such as the ability to discern between an observation, a conclusion and an assumption; to think on a geological timescale (“deep time”); and to engage in spatial thinking, three-dimensional thinking, and systems thinking.

Links for further reading