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GER Topics

Topical areas of GER and geocognition investigations are listed below. We recognize that some of these topical areas are intertwined and overlap, and that some topics have multiple scales of investigation. The bullet points below each GER topic are examples of topics that illustrate the scope of the topic, and are not a complete list.

    1. Students' conceptual understanding (DBER Ch 4)
      • Conceptual understanding: focus on content knowledge
      • Misconceptions and preconceptions
      • Systems thinking / complexity
      • Concept inventories
    2. Cognitive domain and problem solving (DBER Ch 5)
      • Problem-solving
      • Quantitative reasoning
      • Temporal reasoning
      • Spatial reasoning
      • Using and understanding models, simulations, and visualizations of Earth processes
      • Expert-novice spectrum
      • Promoting transfer to new learning situations or settings
    3. Instructional strategies to improve geoscience learning (DBER Chap 6)
      • Design, use, and evaluation of different instructional strategies and their effectiveness in various settings (e.g., large lecture, lab)
      • Role of technology (e.g., hybrid learning, e-learning)
    4. Students' self-regulated learning / metacognition
      • Encouraging students to think about their learning
      • Basic learning assessment methods: Minute papers, knowledge surveys, etc.
      • Developing students' study skills
    5. The affective domain and geoscience students (DBER Chap 7)
      • Attitudes and motivation
      • Values
      • Science/math self-efficacy
      • Beliefs (e.g., about evolution, climate change)
      • Strategies to promote motivation or provide materials and opportunities that students value or find relevant
    6. Access and success
      • Recruitment and retention of geoscience students
      • Broadening participation, diversity and inclusion
      • Place-based and cross-cultural geoscience learning
      • Access and success at different scales (e.g., courses, programs, community)
    7. Nature of science / nature of geoscience (DBER Chap 7)
      • Developing geoscience expertise (knowledge and skills geoscientists use when working on complex, field-and data-based problems and the novice-expert continuum)
      • Teaching nature of science throughout the curriculum (e.g, introductory, upper-level)
      • Using research and research-like experiences
    8. Elementary, middle, and secondary teacher education
      • Pre-service teacher preparation
      • In-service teacher professional development
      • Development and assessment of NGSS curriculum
    9. Professional development of college/university educators
      • Preparation and continuing professional development for geoscience faculty
      • Preparation and professional development of teaching assistants
      • Strategies for promoting changes in faculty practice at different scales (e.g., individuals, departments, programs, institutions, community)