GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 259-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


ST. JOHN, Kristen, Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, CERVATO, Cinzia, Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, 253 Science I, Ames, IA 50011, KASTENS, Kim A., Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964-8000, MACDONALD, Heather, Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187, MCDARIS, John R., Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, MCNEAL, Karen, Geosciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, PETCOVIC, Heather L., Department of Geosciences and The Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University, 1903 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5241, PYLE, Eric J., Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, RIGGS, Eric M., Department of Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, RYKER, Katherine, Geography and Geology, Eastern Michigan University, 301W Mark Jefferson, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, SEMKEN, Steven, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404 and TEASDALE, Rachel, Geological & Environmental Sciences, CSU Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0205,

Fourteen years ago the Wingspread Project helped establish geoscience education research (GER) as an important research field and highlighted overarching research questions for GER at the time. Since the release of this report, GER has grown as evident from an increase in the quality and frequency of geoscience education research articles, the establishment of the NAGT GER Division, the creation of an online home for GER via the GER Toolbox, an increase in the number of GER graduate programs, and the growth of tenure-eligible faculty positions that support geoscience education research.

As an emerging STEM education research field, the GER community is examining the current state of their research and considering the best course forward so that it can have the greatest collective impact on advancing teaching and learning in the geosciences. As part of an NSF-funded multi-step effort to meet this need, 45 researchers drafted priority research questions, or “Grand Challenges”, that span ten research themes on undergraduate geoscience teaching and learning. These themes include research on: students’ conceptual understanding of the solid and the fluid Earth, K-12 teacher preparation, teaching about Earth in the context of societal problems, access and success of underrepresented groups in the geosciences, spatial and temporal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and use of models, instructional strategies to improve geoscience learning, students' self-regulated learning, and faculty professional development and institutional change. For each theme, several Grand Challenges have been proposed, and are now ready for their first round of peer review, which at GSA will include this presentation and a Town Hall event.

It is our vision that the final outcomes of this community-grounded process will be a published guiding framework to (1) focus future GER on questions of high interest to the geoscience education researcher and practitioner community, (2) provide funding agencies with a strong rationale for including GER in future funding priorities, (3) increase the strength of evidence of GER community claims, and (4) elevate the visibility, stature, and collaborative potential of GER in the geosciences and in STEM education research.

  • GSA2017 GER poster_reduced1.pdf (45.9 MB)