Southeastern Section - 60th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2011)
Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM
ONLINE TEXT/LAB MANUAL AND INQUIRY-BASED INSTRUCTION FOR HIGH-SCHOOL EARTH SCIENCE
WOODS, Terri L., Geological Sciences, East Carolina University, E. 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858, firstname.lastname@example.org
With little money currently available for textbooks, now may be the time for an online earth-science text/lab manual. Under the auspices of the UNC-GA 2+2 Initiative, I have developed and piloted materials for earth-science units including: Earthquakes & Plate Tectonics, Minerals, Rocks, Weathering, Geologic Time, Rivers, Glaciers & Climate Change, Coastlines, and Energy & Mineral Resources. Each unit includes: overview/objectives; detailed outline; richly illustrated readings; hundreds of links to websites; study questions and answers; multiple choice quizzes and other assessments. 11 labs include: detailed description of procedures readily adaptable to different time frames, numbers of students, degree of difficulty, etc.; online maps for topo labs; and EXCEL spreadsheets, data tables, map templates, images, etc. Many concepts, landforms and laboratory topics are illustrated with examples from North Carolina. A kit for the laboratory has already been developed and produced and includes: mineral specimens, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, Mt. Mitchell topo map, and CD. Adaption of materials from the introductory college to the high-school level could be readily accomplished.
Even when budgets improve, an online text/lab manual could free up funds for hands-on, inquiry-based materials, since LEAs are often unable to monetarily support and sustain the resources required for such instruction. Teaching science through inquiry, mandated by National Science Education Standards has been shown to decrease achievement gaps among student subpopulations and to improve student and teacher attitudes toward science. This type of science teaching emphasizes the conceptual understanding necessary for students to be able to think critically and quantitatively, solve problems, forge links among concepts, and connect their learning with the world outside of the classroom. Since 2005 the Center for Inquiry-Based Learning (CIBL) has significantly enhanced the use of hands-on, inquiry-based learning in K-8 classrooms in NC reaching ~175,000 students by supplying and refurbishing NSF-supported curriculum units, a system of PD, and scientist support for teachers. Working with CIBL has inspired me to explore the interest of teachers and LEAs in extending CIBL-type services into grades 9-12.