2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 88-16
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM


ST. JOHN, Kristen, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, MACDONALD, Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, FEIG, Anthony D., Department of Geography, Central Michigan University, CMU DOW 278, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, LADUE, Nicole, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, 302 Davis Hall, Normal Road, DeKalb, IL 60115, LUKES, Laura A., CTFE; Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, & Earth Sciences, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, 241 Johnson Center, Fairfax, VA 22030, MCNEAL, Karen S., Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, RIGGS, Eric M., College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, Room 202, Eller O&M Building, MS 3148 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843 and MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, stjohnke@jmu.edu

The goals of the Shaping the Future of Geoscience Education Research Project are to characterize the current state of geoscience education research (GER), identify community needs, and make recommendations to build a stronger GER community and facilitate the next steps in GER. Central to this project are commitments to build on recent reports on Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) as well as previous education and geoscience education research and synthesis efforts, and to provide opportunities for broad GER community input. In supporting these goals, we organized a webinar on DBER from the geoscience perspective, facilitated a workshop on “Synthesizing Geoscience Education Research: Where are We, and What is the Path Forward” at the Earth Educators’ Rendezvous, and are supporting a call for papers for a related theme issue in the Journal of Geoscience Education.

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.