2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
Paper No. 208-2
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM-2:00 PM

TEACHING ENERGY: INTEGRATING CONTENT, CONTEXT AND PEDAGOGY

MYERS, James D., Geology & Geophysics, Univeristy of Wyoming, Department 3006, 1000 E. University Ave, Laramie, WY 82071, magma@uwyo.edu

The use and availability of energy is closely linked to social and human development. Moreover, energy decisions impact water, food production, resource utilization and climate change issues. As concerns about energy escalate, humans will be faced with an increasingly complex set of issues and questions about how we chart our future energy path. Unfortunately, many citizens of the United States are ill-prepared for this discussion. In our roles as educators, we must prepare our students for the energy discussions they will face. Creating introductory energy courses that adequately prepare students to address these issues logically, effectively, and equitably will require balancing content, context and pedagogy. Content must focus on the science of energy as well as the technologies for extracting and producing different primary energy sources. It should draw from all the scientific disciplines while addressing the most basic concepts of energy, a subject about which the general public has many, profound misunderstandings. Because all energy issues/questions occur in context, understanding energy content alone will not prepare our students adequately for the contentious debates they will face. This context adds important economic, environmental, social and political perspectives that must be discussed in classroom instruction. Simultaneously, students have a host of well-established energy preconceptions, misconceptions and naïve conceptions as well as an energy language that differs markedly from that of science and technology. Both of these conditions create potential barriers to learning that instructors must actively breach using a variety of pedagogical tools. At the same time, instructors must design their courses to promote transfer of classroom knowledge and skills to other academic and real world settings. Given these instructional requirements, instructors will have to draw on other disciplinary content areas (both scientific and non-scientific) as well as pull pedagogical content knowledge from these disciplines to create the energy courses that will truly prepare all of our students for the future.

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 208
Energy Education in the Geoscience Classroom: Preparing Future Citizens, Scientists, and Policy Makers
Colorado Convention Center: Room 201
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 495

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