The Graduate Programme in Teaching and History of Earth Sciences (PEHCT) involves research on multiple aspects in relation to knowledge of the Earth. The PEHCT is pioneering in the area of Education Geosciences in this country and continues to be the only Brazilian graduate programme associated with the areas of Geosciences and Teaching. The areas covered by professors and students from the programme are expanding on a continuous basis as a result of the multiple interests and wide range of applications: curricula and programmes of different levels of teaching, teacher training, History of Natural Sciences, scientific disclosure, teaching and learning, teaching material, innovation in educational technologies, environmental education, geological heritage, geoconservation, geotourism, environmental legislation and law.
The PEHCT is also a research unit geared to the permanent development of academic and political activities associated with the movement for improving the Teaching of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences from primary school to university level.
Professors and students from PEHCT are directly involved with international entities such as IGEO – International Geoscience Education Organisation, INHIGEO – International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, AEPECT – Spanish Association for the Teaching of Earth Sciences. In the domestic scenario, PEHCT is an active participant in the activities of SBG – the Brazilian Geology Society, the National Geology Courses Forum and the Forum for Coordinators of Teaching Degree Courses in Sciences.
The basic goal of PEHCT is to train professionals to conduct research in the fields associated with the Programme´s lines of research: Methodology for the Teaching of Geosciences (MEG), and History of Geosciences (HGC). This has been put into practice ever since the Area of Concentration has existed within PPG-Geosciences (see History of the Programme). Historical, epistemological and methodological elements are regarded as essential in the process for the production of knowledge, both in relation to science and education/teaching. A focus is placed on pedagogical issues in relation to the dissemination of knowledge of Geosciences in the different levels of schooling and informal education.