January 2005 Journal of Geoscience EducationVolume 53, Number 1
The Use of a Mock Environment Summit to Support Learning about Global Climate Change
Catherine Gautier Geography Department and Institute for Computational Earth System Science, University of California Santa Barbara, CA
Stacy Rebich Geography Department and Institute for Computational Earth System Science,University of California Santa Barbara, CA
We propose that a learner-centered environment (LCE) is particularly suitable for Earth System Science (ESS) learning due to the nature of the knowledge and research environment that characterizes the field. We show how the principal characteristics of LCE effectively provide learners with motivation and opportunity to understanding this complex area of scientific inquiry.
We describe a course that supports learning the science of global change and address the human aspects of global change through the development and negotiation of an international environmental agreement. Students play the roles of country representatives and participate in activities such as writings, class discussions, presentations and negotiations. Rubrics developed for each activity are used both to assess student learning and to communicate feedback to students about their work.
Our study suggests that the adoption of a LCE enhanced student learning of content and critical skills. The frequent student presentations were found to play a major role in student learning. The rubrics served as scaffolding for knowledge construction, helped students to self-assess and maintain their quality of work, and allowed instructors to provide quick and efficient feedback. The development of basic learner-centered tools and teaching practices will help ESS instructors provide learning environments most suitable for their discipline.
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p5
Qualitative Analysis of College Students' Ideas about the Earth: Interviews and Open-Ended Questionnaires
Julie C. Libarkin Dept. of Geological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH
Steven W. Anderson Science Department, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD
Julie Dahl Science Department, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD
Meredith Beilfuss College of Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
William Boone College of Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p17
Designing Undergraduate Research Experiences for Nontraditional Student Learning at Sea
James E. Gawel Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, University of Washington - Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
Cheryl L. Greengrove Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, University of Washington - Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p31
Life (Briefly) Near a Supernova
Steven I. Dutch Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, WI
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p27
The DLESE Community Review System: Gathering, Aggregating, and Disseminating User Feedback about the Effectiveness of Web-based Educational Resources
Kim Kastens Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Department of Earth & Environmental Science, Columbia University, Palisades, NY
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p37
The Transparent Velocity-Head Rod for Inexpensive and Accurate Measurement of Stream Velocities
Mark A. Fonstad James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
James P. Reichling Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Jon W. Van de Grift 4887 White Rock Circle, Boulder, CO 80301
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p44
Creativity Skills Applied to Earth Science Education: Examples from K-12 Teachers in a Graduate Creativity Class
Audrey C. Rule Department of Curriculum & Instruction, State University of New York at Oswego, Oswego, NY
In 1950, J. P. Guilford, the President of the American Psychological Association, gave a speech often identified as initiating national interest in creativity in which he asked researchers to find the promise of creativity in our children and to investigate enhancement of the development of the creative personality. Fifty years later, Yager (2000) called for the knowledge accumulated during the ensuing years of inquiry to be applied to science education.
This article briefly explores different aspects of creativity, and then examines K-12 teachers' reactions to exercises applied to earth science concepts in a graduate creativity class. Different types of puzzle activities centering on geoscience content include a quiz game based on Odyssey of the Mind spontaneous problems, and other exercises related to embedded words, transformed cliches, remotely associated word sets, and wordsmithing. Teachers used visualization for an imaginary interview with a geoscientist, along with personal analogy of an earth science feature. As a culminating activity, teachers fashioned a geoscience curriculum material with a given set of items after using Productive Thinking (Schlichter and Palmer, 1993) to generate possible uses for each given material. Ideas for applying the activities to geoscience classes at various grade levels are included.
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p53
A Data Rich Exercise for Discovering Plate Boundary Processes
Dale S. Sawyer Department of Earth Science, Rice University, Houston, TX
Alison T. Henning Department of Earth Science, Rice University, Houston, TX
Stephanie Shipp Department of Earth Science, Rice University, Houston, TX
Robyn W. Dunbar Stanford University, Stanford, CA
"Discovering Plate Boundaries" is a classroom exercise based on four world maps containing earthquake, volcano, topography, and seafloor age data. A novel aspect of the exercise is the "jigsaw" manner in which student groups access the maps and use them to discover, classify, and describe plate boundary types. The exercise takes three 50 minute class periods to complete and involves the students making presentations to one another in small groups and to the whole class. The students are first organized into four groups where they work together to become "specialists" in a particular data type. They are later reorganized into groups containing a specialist in each data type to study the boundaries of a particular tectonic plate. The exercise concludes with student presentations of their group work, followed by a presentation by the teacher and a group discussion.
The exercise is useful at a wide variety of levels because it is based only on observation and description. We have used it successfully with middle school, high school, and college major and non-major Earth science classes, as well as with pre-service and in-service K-12 teachers. The students come away fromthe exercise with knowledge of the key features of each type of plate boundary and a sense of why each looks the way it does. While the materials to conduct the exercise are available on the Internet (http://terra.rice.edu/plateboundary/), the actual exercise is not based on student access to the Web and does not require sophisticated classroom technology equipment.
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p65
An Investigation of Student Engagement in a Global Warming Debate
Diane M. Schweizer Institute for Computational Earth System Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Gregory J. Kelly Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, Penn State University, University Park, PA
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p75
Concept Sketches - Using Student- and Instructor-generated, Annotated Sketches for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Geology Courses
Julia K. Johnson Dept. of Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Stephen J. Reynolds Dept. of Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p85
A Student-Centered Project for Earth System History
Rebecca Teed Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p96
The Case for a Cooperative Studio Classroom: Teaching Petrology in a Different Way
Dexter Perkins Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks ND
To improve our Petrology course, I have changed it from a lab-lecture format to one that emphasizes studio and cooperative learning. The goals of the changes are to: (1) improve student learning by covering (a smaller number of) topics in greater depth, (2) deemphasize knowledge-based learning and emphasize development of higher order thinking skills (comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation), and (3) help our students develop good habits of the mind and fundamental skills useful for lifelong learning.
The reformatted course requires that students take more responsibility for their learning. I and the teaching assistant act as mentors, guiding students as they carry out the learning process. Lab and lecture sessions are seamlessly combined. Formal lectures are short and rare. Instead, students do many group projects, studying complex problems in depth. The content covered in the semester is less than in a more traditional class but the learning is greater.
After one semester, a multipronged assessment reveals that students like the redesigned course and believe they learn more than in a traditional course. They report no major problems. I, too, have found the redesigned course to be a success. It met all of the initial goals, was successful in many other ways, and will lead to improvements in other classes and in our curricula.
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p101
Combining Stream Table Experiments, High-tech Particle Analysis, and the Web to Help Geomorphology Students Evaluate Landform Evolution
Douglas H. Clark Geology Department, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Scott R. Linneman Geology Department, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Three sequential geomorphology labs introduce students to concepts of landform evolution, hypothesis testing, and grain-size analysis. Students combine qualitative observations with quantitative measurements from cutting-edge analytic equipment to critically evaluate their understanding of delta formation.
In the first lab, students predict graphically how a stream-table delta will develop through time, and hypothesize how and why sediment grain sizes change across and within the delta. Digital Web cameras provide remote viewing and a time-lapse MPEG video sequence of delta formation.
In the second lab, students compare the final landform with their original predictions of landform development. They sample delta topset, foreset, and bottomset beds for analysis on a laser particle-size analyzer to test their original hypotheses about grain-size distributions in the delta. Students operate the analyzer and produce grain-size distribution graphs of each sample. The graphs are posted to the course Web page, allowing students to compare visually the measured results to their Lab-1 predictions and to re-assess the processes of delta formation.
The third lab is a field trip to local stranded late-Pleistocene deltas. By comparing the sediments of natural deltas to the stream-table version, students report improved understanding of the similarities, as well as the differences, in formation of each. Student assessment of the labs indicates they feel improved understanding of and interest in landform development compared to more traditional lecture and field trip-based instruction on the topic.
URL for this article: http://www.nagt.org/nagt/jge/abstracts/jan05.html#v53p110