2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


SUITER, Marilyn J., EHR Human Resource Development Div, National Sci Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22230, ROMIG Jr, Phillip R., Assoc VP for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois, Golden, CO 80401, ASTWOOD, Philip M., Center for Science Education, Univ of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 and BOYD, Thomas M., Department of Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois, Golden, CO 80401, msuiter@nsf.gov

High-quality education results from many elements – rigorous subject matter, timely materials, well-equipped facilities, well-prepared students, and effective pedagogy – all coming together. But like any mixture, a catalyst or at least a nurturing growth medium is often needed to bring those elements together to produce the synergistic experience that education can sometimes be. The catalyst is the teacher: teachers have the responsibility of designing and implementing the best learning experience possible for their students.

IDIG (Improving Delivery in Geoscience Education), launched in 1996 (by AGI with funds from NSF), was developed to help faculty develop improved teaching skills in introductory earth science courses. IDIG participants were provided with diverse learning materials, explored instructional methods such as problem-solving exercises, issue-based models where the teacher acts as facilitator, integrated learning environments that incorporate field work, experiential learning, and technological methods to incorporate data-use into more traditional classroom/laboratory activities, establishing student teams and developing communities of science learners, and use of local and regional issues to demonstrate relevance and to foster in students a sense of stewardship in their communities. Participants concluded the program by developing strategic plans for implementation at their home institutions.

In order to disseminate the practices that educators have found effective in improving classroom delivery of geoscience education, the outcomes of plans for improving the delivery of geoscience education that have been implemented by IDIG participants are presented, including: (1) statement of the target from improvement, (2) lessons learned in the IDIG workshop, (3) actions implemented to improve delivery, and (4) outcomes of the implementation including quantitative and/or qualitative measures.

The activity honors and celebrates the life and contributions of Dorothy LaLonde Stout, an IDIG co-PI, whose professional life was dedicated to ensuring high-quality educational experiences for all students of the Earth.