South-Central Section - 51st Annual Meeting - 2017

Paper No. 28-5
Presentation Time: 2:55 PM


WILLIAMS, Wendi J.W., Science Division, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, One College Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712; Donaghey College Engineering and Information Technology Dept Earth Sciences, Univ Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S. University Ave, Little Rock, AR 72204,

Deliberately structuring your instructional settings indoors, outdoors (designing accessible field trips), and in cyberspace can lead to more inclusive Earth and Space Science education whether you facilitate courses at two-year colleges (2YC) or other institutions in higher education (e.g. 4YC). There are many kinds of diversity represented in introductory-level geology courses at public 2- and 4-year colleges: learning preferences, college “readiness,” first generation college-bound, ages represented by concurrent enrollment as high school students through retirees, Persons with Disabilities, English language learners, and military active duty and/or veteran status, as well as gender identity and ethnic/racial demographics. Better inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in higher education settings (starting with entry point core credit courses) are better addressed by taking deliberate actions in both pre- and post-secondary formal and informal venues.

Teacher education literature addresses children with “exceptionalities” (meaning students with a wide range of abilities). Many of the recommended pedagogical practices are well suited for teaching Earth Science concepts at K-12 levels, and are also used to inform and enrich adult education methodologies (andragogical applications) in STEM. I will discuss a sampling of foundational theory and applied techniques from internationally and nationally recognized leaders in Universal Design that I have benefitted from through professional development and continuing education. Colleagues teaching core courses using a range of modalities (such as in-residence, hybrid/blended, and online) that also may include dual credit/concurrent enrollment populations or possibly pre-service K-12 teacher candidates in any given term can realize effective/efficient benefits by implementing similar research-based strategies to make everyone’s “way of doing” more inclusive and more responsive to changing demographics.