2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM


MANDUCA, Cathryn, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057 and MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, cmanduca@carleton.edu

Field trips and experiences are one of the signature pedagogies of geology. Geologists are associated with field trips the way that chemists are associated with lab coats. Past students remember their field trips long after most of the rest of a course fades from view. However, learning in the field doesn't just happen. It requires careful planning from the scientific, logistic and pedagogic points of view. As a discipline, we have developed extensive expertise in developing field experiences for a wide range of purposes and for a wide range of audiences. A successful field experience to introduce middle school teachers to the regional geology, to teach mapping skills to structural geology students, or to evaluate the evidence for a new scientific theory might all visit the same area, but would be designed very differently from a pedagogic point of view. The NAGT Teaching in the Field website (http://nagt.org/nagt/field) is designed to help us share this pedagogic expertise at the same time we share hard to find local resources supporting teaching in the field. The website now contains examples of field experiences designed for professionals, for upper division and introductory undergraduate students, for teachers, and for middle school students, as well as examples of field camps and traveling field courses. The goals and design of each experience are presented along with links, downloads, or bibliographic information for needed guides, maps or other materials and logistical tips. An important element of the description is information on how to assess the success of the experience in meeting its goals. Contributions to the on-line collection are invited and will be reviewed by NAGT using newly developed guidelines available on the site. Our goal is to develop an on-line resource that supports faculty and teachers across the country in developing field-based learning experiences and demonstrates the robust role that field experiences play in our teaching and professional development.