SHAPING THE FUTURE OF GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION RESEARCH: A COMMUNITY EFFORT
The workshop introduced a conceptual model for evaluating the strength of GER community claims, recognizing that an evidence-based approach is an important element of a synthesis of GER. Working groups identified outcomes, gaps, and next steps in seven overlapping topical areas of GER: conceptual understanding, cognitive domain and problem solving, instructional strategies, affective domain and metacognition, nature of (geo)science, access and success, and professional development of college/university educators. Participants made recommendations for strategies to better support current and future GER researchers, resources about research methods and skills, metrics of student success, infusing GER results into practice, and developing a community research agenda. We recognized the need to better leverage practitioner wisdom and experience to inform GER research and translate research results into practice. We also recognized the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations in GER efforts, especially those that include cognitive scientists.
The project provides a focus on the current status and future directions of GER, and ultimately, as research translates into practice, on shaping undergraduate geoscience education at the individual, institutional, and national level. The project is sponsored by the NAGT and the NAGT GER Division with funding provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation.