2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)
Paper No. 204-7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


WENNER, Jennifer M., Geology Department, Univ of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI 54901, wenner@uwosh.edu, BAER, Eric M., Geology Department, Highline Community College, P.O. Box 98000, MS 29-3, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800, and MANDUCA, Cathryn, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057

As universities, employers, and the mass media place more emphasis on quantitative and problem solving skills, the geosciences must shed the public's misperception that they are a descriptive science. In particular, the role that quantitative literacy (QL) plays in understanding the world around us can and should be stressed in general education introductory geoscience courses, where the general public can be reached. In June 2006, the NSF funded, DLESE supported project “Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences” held a workshop for geoscience instructors to generate courses and activities designed to help them to increase the QL of introductory students. The workshop, entitled “Infusing Quantitative Literacy into Introductory Courses”, brought together 29 faculty members from high schools, 2-year, and 4-year institutions to discuss the importance and implementation of courses and activities that include QL in introductory geoscience.

Workshop participants explored challenges and best practices for increasing students' QL, recognizing and working on ways to overcome obstacles such as student and faculty attitudes and preparation, lack of institutional and textbook support, and insufficient problem-solving skill instruction. Because the inclusion of QL must incorporate essential instruction, work time and support for students, participants worried that some loss of geologic content may be necessary. Nonetheless, participants identified multiple broad geologic topics and best practice strategies for incorporating QL into their courses without significant loss of content. We present best practices, perceived obstacles, and participants' quantitatively-rich student activities and model syllabi for courses suffused with student practice of quantitative skills. Sample syllabi and activities can be found among the growing collection of materials that support teaching quantitative skills: http://serc.carleton.edu/quantskills/.

2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 204--Booth# 88
Beyond the Content: Teaching Scientific and Citizenship Skills in the Geosciences (Posters)
Pennsylvania Convention Center: Exhibit Hall C
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 496

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