Paper No. 88-4
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM
USING MIXED-METHODS TO INVESTIGATE GEOLOGICAL BLINDNESS: THE ATTITUDES AND CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF INTRODUCTORY GEOLOGY STUDENTS
Much of the existing literature about students taking introductory geology and science classes is centered on two ideas: 1) student affect and how it evolves over the duration of the course and 2) how innovative pedagogical methods impact student affect and learning. Few studies have investigated to the scope (content topics) and the sequence of the course. Furthermore, these past studies tended to be quantitative in nature, with some limited qualitative data incorporated. This study will utilize a mixed-methods approach, combining and correlating quantitative and qualitative data. This approach will require analysis and triangulation of data collected from surveys, interviews with key informants, observation field notes and informal conversations with students. Mixed-methods will allow for a more comprehensive picture and for specific attributes of students’ attitudes and understanding to be identified, connecting these to instruction and the specific content covered within an introductory geology class. An outcome of this is the elimination of geological blindness, the inability of students to “see” geology and its importance in everyday life.