Paper No. 46-1
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM
THE SOCIAL NETWORK AND GEOSCIENCE EDUCATION: WHY WHO YOU KNOW IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU KNOW WHEN IT COMES TO INNOVATIVE TEACHING (Invited Presentation)
Teaching can be a very isolating experience – we usually teach as individuals. This is doubly true of online education, where we have fewer colleagues who participate in (or even understand!) the format. This isolation can significantly impact not only the instructor’s teaching experience, but the quality or instruction, too. In this paper I present new research that highlights the needs for community in sustaining geoscience education reform. By comparing the instructional practices of Geology faculty and a wider group of STEM faculty, we can see that instructors who both a) actively collaborate with other faculty in the development of a course, and b) occasionally interact with instructional experts, are significantly more likely to use evidence-based instructional techniques with their students. Other factors - such as class size, tenure status, and subject - are not related to the use of best practices in instruction. I’ll finish by discussing why the usual methods for education reform fail, and by suggesting how we (as either faculty or administrators) can change the characteristics of our individual and department education networks to sustain education reform.