Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 18-2
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


ROEMMELE, Christopher, Earth and Space Sciences Department, West Chester University, 720 S. Church St., Merion Science Center, Rm 225, West Chester, PA 19383

Engaging the disaffected, disinterested learner can be a formidable task, especially in a general education science class like geology, a class in which students may enter with negative affect because, to their perceived understanding, they are required to take a class which has little to no relevance to their personal lives. These students arrive with expectations and needs for instruction, but curriculum as well. One of our goals should be to get them to rise to the challenge to produce and demonstrate higher level critical thinking with regard to our content, its skill sets, and its applications. Active learning can take on many dimensions, both in and out of the classroom and lab. It is necessary to sometimes step back before we dive into our curriculum, establish an environment that encourages and expects collaborative learning and peer instruction, infuses problem-based learning activities, as well as formative assessment that allows self-reflection. Drawing from events that are current or always timely, have social impact on the individual, local, and global scales, we can provide students agency. We can also expand their knowledge and understanding of our Earth and its vast resources and history, thereby promoting stewardship and thereby mitigate geologic blindness – a condition of unawareness, disinterest, even disdain of all things geology. A variety of active learning strategies – in-class “board meetings” to solve content questions and employ process skills, problem-based learning with highway bypass buffer zones to purchasing real estate to ad analysis, video demonstrations and virtual field trips, and the process of converting introductory lecture courses to a flipped classroom employing multimodal instruction and learning are presented.