Figures & Tables
Teaching clay science
The teaching of clay science is often thought of as forming the curriculum of an upper-level college course for juniors, seniors and graduate students. Although clays and clay minerals are complex subjects often requiring extensive background to understand in detail, introducing topics related to clays does not require such specialization. Furthermore, clays are a part of modern everyday life, being found in common household products (from toothpaste, toilets, and cat litter to paper, plastics, and fine china). It does not seem reasonable to wait until a student reaches the upper-college level to introduce the subject, although the introduction of clay science must be approached at levels appropriate to the student's development and background. In fact, one of us (A. Rule) has successfully introduced crystallography concepts of crystal shape and symmetry, and has taught lessons in the industrial uses of clay minerals at the primary-school level. Education scholars have developed procedures for teaching that closely parallel the way humans learn. For the most part, these instructional practices have not been implemented at the college level, although such teaching methods could easily be applied to benefit college-level students. The idea of a Teaching Clay Science Workshop was developed over the last three years to integrate the efforts of education scholars, high-school teachers and college professionals toward improving clay-science instruction. This integration of learning theory with clay-science teaching has produced a unique set of example lessons, which resulted in this volume of Workshop Lectures. Finally, we express our appreciation to P. Schroeder for taking our edited manuscripts and organizing them to conform to the CMS Workshop Lectures Series. Also, we thank M. Krekeler for working through all of the laboratories presented here and for providing his comments to the authors.