In the Trenches - April 2012
Volume 2, Number 2
In This Issue - By the Numbers: Improving Quantitative Literacy
- The Math You Need, When You Need It - Jennifer M. Wenner, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Helen E. Burn and Eric M. Baer, Highline Community College
- Quantitative Writing: Using Short Writing Assignments to Teach Data-Based Argumentation - John C. Bean, David Carrithers, Dean Peterson, and Trileigh Tucker; Seattle University
- Connecting Quantitative Literacy and Geology - H.L. Vacher, University of South Florida
- Learning to Think Spatially - Carol Ormand, Science Education Resource Center (Carleton College)
- Math and Science "Placed" in Context - Steven Semken (Arizona State University); Chris Schaufele and Nancy Zumoff (Kenesaw State University)
This site provides web links that supplement the print articles as well as news and web resources. To receive the full edition of In the Trenches join NAGT
Jennifer M. Wenner, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and Helen E. Burn and Eric M. Baer, Highline Community College, Des Moines, Washington
Recent uses of The Math You Need, When You Need It (TMYN) — student-centered, online quantitative modules focused on introductory geoscience — suggest that you can. Since spring of 2010, TMYN has been used in conjunction with geoscience courses at 13 four-year and 10 two-year institutions impacting the mathematical skills of more than 1,500 students (See Table 1 on Page 2). Data from these implementations of TMYN suggest that completing the modules improves students' mathematical skills and that they are useful at a wide variety of institutions."
John C. Bean, David Carrithers, Dean Peterson, and Trileigh Tucker, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington
- Quantitative Writing Pedagogical Module
- Quantitative methods for public policy, Macalester College
- Carleton's Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge (QuIRK) Initiative
H.L. Vacher, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
- AAC&U (American Association of Colleges and Universities), 2007, College learning for the new global century: A report of the National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America's Promise: http://www.aacu.org/leap/documents/GlobalCentury_final.pdf.
- Best, J., 2002, People count: The social construction of statistics: http://www.statlit.org/PDF/2002BestASA.pdf.
- Best, J., 2008, Birds–dead and deadly: Why numeracy needs to address social construction: Numeracy, v. 1, iss. 1, article 6 [DOI: 10.5038/1936-46126.96.36.199]. Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/numeracy/vol1/iss1/art6.
- Connor, C.B., 2011, A quantitative literacy view of natural disasters and nuclear facilities: Numeracy, v. 4, iss. 2, article 2 [DOI: 10.5038/1936-46188.8.131.52]. Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/numeracy/vol4/iss2/art2.
- Madison, B.L., and Steen, L.A., 2008, Evolution of numeracy and the National Numeracy Network, Numeracy: v. 1, iss. 1, article 2 [DOI: 10.5038/1936-46184.108.40.206]. Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/numeracy/vol1/iss1/art2.
- Ministry of Education (England), 1959, 15 to 18: A report of the Central Advisory Committee for Education: Department of Education and Science, London. Available at: http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/crowther/.
- Vacher, H.L., 2011, A LEAP forward for quantitative literacy: Numeracy, v. 4, iss. 2, article 1 [DOI: 10.5038/1936-46220.127.116.11]. Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/numeracy/vol4/iss2/art1.
- Wenner, J.M., Baer, E.M., Manduca, C.A., Macdonald, R.H., Patterson, S., and Savina, M., 2009, The case for infusing quantitative literacy into introductory geoscience courses: Numeracy, v. 2, iss. 1, article 4 [DOI: 10.5038/1936-4618.104.22.168]. Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/numeracy/vol2/iss1/art4.
Carol Ormand, the Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota
- Titus, S.J., and Horsman, E., 2009, Characterizing and improving spatial visualization skills (Special volume on research on thinking and learning in the geosciences): Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 57, n. 4, p. 242-254. http://nagt-jge.org/doi/pdf/10.5408/1.3559671
Steven Semken, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, and Chris Schaufele and Nancy Zumoff, Kennesaw State University, Marietta, Georgia
- Kéyah Math Project
- Manduca, C.A., Macdonald, H., and Feiss, G., 2008, A comment on ... Education: Preparing students for geosciences of the future: Geotimes, v. 53, no. 4, p. 59. Available at http://www.geotimes.org/apr08/article.html?id=comment.html.
- Riggs, E.M., & Semken, S.C., 2001, Culture and science: Earth science for Native Americans: Geotimes, v. 46, no. 9, p. 14-17. Available at http://www.geotimes.org/sept01/feature_native_education.html.
Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning
- Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences
This website provides information on the issues involved in teaching quantitative skills and methods and activities for doing so as well as additional resources and a community of other faculty who are all attempting this challenging task.
- Teaching with Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum
Teaching with Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum uses modules with short PowerPoint presentations to guide students to build spreadsheets to solve one or more mathematical problems in the context of their courses. The students determine the cell equations that produce the calculated numbers shown on the spreadsheets. Examples are provided.
- Mathematics and Statistical Models
This module provides basic information about mathematical and statistical models, how they can be used in the classroom, and provides activity examples that utilize both.
- National Numeracy Network
This organization offers its members a network of individuals, institutions, and corporations united by the common goal of quantitative literacy for all citizens. Through national meetings, faculty workshops, research initiatives, and information sharing, the National Numeracy Network aims to strengthen the capacity of our country in the quantitative areas of business, industry, education, and research across all disciplines. This site includes access to the NNN journal, teaching resources, and other information about NNN.
- On the Cutting Edge Spatial Thinking Journal Club
This journal club provided an opportunity to dive into the literature on spatial thinking, particularly in the context of the geosciences, and to discuss it in depth with interested colleagues. The group met between January and May 2012 to discuss readings from the geoscience and cognitive science literature, with an emphasis on exploring the cognitive aspects of spatial thinking and their implications for geoscience education.
- Learning to Think Spatially
This report explains the nature and functions of spatial thinking and shows how spatial thinking can be supported across the K-12 curriculum through the development of appropriate support systems. The report calls for a national initiative to integrate spatial thinking into existing standards-based instruction across the school curriculum such as in mathematics, history, and science classes; it does not require the development of a new, separate course focusing solely on spatial thinking. The goal of this initiative is to create a generation of students who learn to think spatially in an informed way.
- Newcombe, N. (2010). Picture This: Increasing math and Science Learning by Improving Spatial Thinking, American Educator, v. 34, n. 2, p. 29-43.
Teaching with Research and Data
- Teaching with Data from Pedagogy in Action
The module offers background information for teaching with data in entry level geoscience classrooms (what is it, why use it, and how does one use it) as well as a collection of activity examples one can use in their classroom.
- Teaching with Data Simulations from Pedagogy in Action
Teaching with data simulations means giving students opportunities to simulate data in order to answer a particular research question or solve a statistical problem. This module explains how to use this technique along with with example activities and classroom tips.
- Teaching with Data, Simulations, and Models from On the Cutting Edge
Today's geoscience education reaches beyond the traditional teaching tools such as rock samples and topographic maps. With the addition of computers in many geoscience classrooms and laboratories, faculty have unprecedented opportunity to create innovative learning experiences by bringing real-world data sets and models and simulations of geoscience processes into the classroom. This site provides resources to help faculty use data resources effectively and easily, and contains access to teaching materials and tips from the classroom and literature about the supporting pedagogy.
- Integrating Research and Education
This website contains educational modules for use by teachers, students and researchers. These collections offer numerous ways in which digital library technologies can be used to translate exciting new scientific discoveries into effective instructional practice. Examples include Teaching with the EarthChem database, Exploring the Yellowstone Geoecosystem, and Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases.
- Using Data in the Classroom
This interdisciplinary portal provides information and discussion for educators and resource developers interested in effective teaching methods and pedagogical approaches for using data in the classroom.
- Using MARGINS Data in the Classroom
This is the first page in a series developed from a 2009 MARGINS workshop. The MARGINS project focuses on plate boundaries and has designed and evaluated teacher-ready mini-lessons for the undergraduate classroom. The decade-long NSF MARGINS program has generated a wealth of data for use in the undergraduate classroom.
- Earth Exploration Toolbook
The Earth Exploration Toolbook is a collection of computer-based Earth science activities. Each activity, or chapter, introduces one or more data sets and an analysis tool that enables users to explore some aspect of the Earth system. There are 25 different chapters, including Investigating Earthquakes with ArcVoyager GIS, Exploring Characteristics of Wetlands, and Is Greenland Melting?
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