2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 17
Presentation Time: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM


CUMMINGS, Michael L., Geology Department, Portland State Univ, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207, LINDSAY, Thomas C., Geology, Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207 and SHAW, Barbara J., cummingsm@pdx.edu

One critical aspect in the interpretation and cognition of geologic processes is the time integrated aspect of landscape. The development of these skills and cognitive placeholders are enhanced by pedagogical approaches which encourage hands-on interactions with the environment. Portland State University's Department of Geology offers a one-unit lower-division field-trip based “Field Studies: Columbia River Gorge” course where students of varied majors are allowed to construct their understandings of the processes, structures and sequences that comprise the landscapes they experienced. The contextual conceptual settings of four different areas were framed during student group explorations of the Gorge. Here the students were encouraged to frame their observations in terms of process in regards to materials they physically examined and came in contact. Students were also instructed to write about what interested them and that these interests might not be isolated to only one site. The papers produced by the students were evaluated using a rubric constructed for this study. They reveal that this pedagogical approach leads to a deep engagement and contextual conceptualization of geologic settings representing change of landscapes occurring over varying dimensions and scales of time. This pedagogy has been successfully employed in professional development place-based experiences with elementary, middle- and high-school teachers in rural Southeastern Oregon settings to constructively engage students in science questioning.