North-Central Section - 39th Annual Meeting (May 19–20, 2005)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 1:20 PM-5:20 PM


KIRKBY, Kent C.1, MORIN, Paul2, FINLEY, Fred3, BAUMTROG, Jill4, FRIESEN, Benjamin5 and CAMPBELL, Karen5, (1)Geology & Geophysics, Univ of Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, (2)Department of Geology and Geophysics, Univ of Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, (3)Curriculum and Instruction, Univ of Minnesota, 159 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, (4)Education and Human Development, Univ of Minnesota, 2 Third Ave SE, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Minneapolis, MN 55414, (5)National Ctr for Earth-surface Dynamics, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, 2 Third Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414,

The Introductory Geology program at the University of Minnesota recently embarked on an ambitious revision of its physical geology course with the goal of transforming it into an effective ‘concluding science course'. Rather than serve as an introduction to a field of study, an effective concluding science course seeks to convey the skills and knowledge that students need in order to be better-informed participants of an increasingly global society.

Although our emphasis is on the undergraduate level, most of the materials, technologies, and pedagogical innovations of the revision are readily translatable to secondary earth science education. To a large degree, the revision is a conscious attempt to leverage the size, resources, and connections of the University's Introductory Geology program to create earth science educational materials of value to other regional programs at all levels of K-16 education.

Laboratory modules, consisting of a combination of web-based materials, physical models, stereo anaglyph maps, stereo projection visualizations and even bar-coded mineral and rock samples, are built about case studies of Upper Midwest geology. Whenever possible, the modules investigate how 18th and 19th century Dakota, Ojibwa and Euro-American views of the Earth differed from one another and from a modern perspective. Our objective in this is to set geological processes in an historical context of how different cultures have affected and been affected by the geology of their region.

Some materials and exercises will be available for adoption by Fall, 2005 with the rest to follow over the next two years.

This work was partially supported by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education.