1/ How do we move on from outdated and overly simplified models of mantle convection?

A thread 🧵

Modern tomography suggests mantle convection is best *not* seen as large, simple cells like this (and like seen in many textbooks!)
2/ Instead, it is a more chaotic affair, analogous to the difference between neat schematics of a depression, with everything neatly in the right place, and the complexity of actual atmospheric air motions.
3/ Indeed, computer modelling of possible convection over the course of billions of years reveals a complex interplay between subducting plates, rising mantle plumes & overall mantle movement.
4/ Given this, is it possible to suggest a model to help our pupils construct a meaningful & accessible schema?

This is my current attempt. It doesn't say everything that could be said, but I'm hoping it shows all that must be said.
5/ Having constructed & consolidated the schema, our pupils are then enable to - with appropriate scaffolding - explore the exciting world of the mantle by generating & interpreting their own tomography profiles.
6/ We aim high & scaffold up when teaching the General circulation of the atmosphere, applying the model to complex real world scenarios.

Why not take the same approach with mantle convection?

Are you up for the challenge?!
7/ Post Script

As this thread seems to have taken off a bit (and thanks to all who have stopped by!), you csn read more of my thoughts on how we might teach tectonics in school in my blog: "Acts of Geopoetry"


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More from @lcgeography

19 Jun
1/ Update on the management approaches of the Geldingadalur lava flow as it heads south.

2/ It has been decided not to try to stop the lava flow from covering the coastal road to the south (called Suðurstrandarvegur).

The flow is expected to leave the southern end of Nátthagi within a week & reach the road around two weeks after that.
3/ The main reasons given are lack of time, cost & the fact that the likely long term nature of this eruption means that anything they did would just be temporary anyway.
Read 6 tweets
16 Jun
1. Today we were evaluating the accuracy of our forecasts of the routes taken by the Geldingadalur lava flows.

2. Yesterday, pupils had been using ArcGIS Scene Viewer to read the topography of the land to try to forecast & justify possible routes.

Reference made to
• thalweg
• how lava can rewrite the underlying topography to effectively flow up hil and overcome topographical barriers
3. We then compared our predictions with what has actually happened and discovered three categories of evaluation.

A surprise flow further to the west had happened. Currently it is feeding into the Nattahagi valley. But could it go elsewhere...?
Read 8 tweets
1 Jan
** Schools have been getting ready for this: a thread **

In many ways, I don't blame folks who tweet things like this. The media coverage of the schools situation in Covid-19 rarely talks about the quiet, day-in-day-out work that schools have been doing these past 9 months. 1/
Instead, the coverage focused on the dramatic, last minute policy announcements by the government, or of dramatic stories of school closures, often accompanied by photos of socially distanced classrooms that those of us in schools this past term know are from a fantasy land. 2/
If that's all you see & hear, it's no wonder that you may not know what has actually been happening in schools to meet the challenges. So, if you'd like a glimpse behind the curtain, then read on. For this is something of what teachers & schools leaders have been up to. 3/
Read 26 tweets
29 Dec 20
I'd be quite happy to debate the points made here, especially if the Tweeter would come out from behind an anonymous account and own their opinions.

There is genuinely a debate to be had. But surely the level of discourse can be better than this?

Let me start with one point 1/5
"Google Classroom can do their job for them! It may deliver info on a screen but that's it!"

Face to face is better than remote, of course. That's why I've been happy to be teaching in school since August and interacting with my pupils in my classroom. 2/5
But to make the above claim is to show a fundamental misunderstanding on the nature of teaching - and of the significant progress (through both research & experience) that teachers have made in delivering remote learning over these past 9 months. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
26 Aug 20
** How is recap going with classes? A thread **

Useful recap session with Y12 on the fieldwork paper. I used a retrieval practice approach (low stakes quiz) to recap on some content covered in June. Pleasingly, good recall was generally shown by most who had engaged. #nigeogmeet
But one common misconception on river velocity remained. This was one that I had identified in June & tried to address in one of my videos. I had used an analogy to do with streamlining of vehicles & related that to friction & its impact on velocity.
Interestingly, once I showed the photos of the analogy, that was enough to trigger the memory for most of the role of attrition making the bedload smaller & more rounded and thus exerting less frictional drag on the water. Full video here:
Read 8 tweets

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