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Geoscience education for the Anthropocene

By
Barbara J. Tewksbury
Barbara J. Tewksbury
Geosciences Department, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, New York 13323, USA
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Cathryn A. Manduca
Cathryn A. Manduca
Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, One North College Street, Northfield, Minnesota 55057, USA
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David W. Mogk
David W. Mogk
Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, P.O. Box 173480, Bozeman, Montana 59717-3480, USA
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R. Heather Macdonald
R. Heather Macdonald
Department of Geology, College of William and Mary, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795, USA
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Published:
September 01, 2013

Over the past 50 years, geoscience education has evolved in a number of important ways in terms of what we teach, whom we teach, and how we teach. What we teach has changed focus from traditional geology to the geosciences more broadly defined, including the significant impact of Earth processes on a burgeoning world population and the impacts of that population on the Earth. The importance of the geosciences to decisions critical to our human future is incorporated into courses, textbooks, and curricula. Although preparation of a professional geologic workforce is still an important focus of geoscience education, geoscience literacy to enable all citizens to make informed decisions related to geoscience topics has become an important goal underpinned by national policy documents. What remains a challenge is that we still fail to reach the vast majority of future citizens with geoscience education at the high school and college levels. How we teach has also changed. Although great teaching and strategies for effective teaching are not new, what has developed over the past 50 years is the cognitive science and pedagogical research that validates best practice and supports broad reform in geoscience education. The past 15 years have seen a widespread rise at the undergraduate level in interest in effective teaching, along with increased use of active learning strategies, research-based best practices, real-world data, and authentic assessment. Changes in how undergraduate geoscience is taught have been critically catalyzed by development of a community of practice and supported by advances in technology.

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GSA Special Papers

The Impact of the Geological Sciences on Society

Marion E. Bickford
Marion E. Bickford
Department of Earth Sciences, 204 Heroy Geology Laboratory, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York 13244-1070, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
501
ISBN print:
9780813725017
Publication date:
September 01, 2013

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