Geoscience Education Research
What is GER?
There is a spectrum to what the community means by Geoscience Education Research, or "GER" for short. Here, we take an inclusive approach to GER. We define it as involving the development, application, and evaluation of new geoscience teaching innovations and curricula, as well as the development and testing of geoscience education research questions and hypotheses. These can be characterized as the scholarship of geoscience teaching and learning (geo-SoTL), and geoscience discipline based educational research (geo-DBER), respectively. Geo-DBER is interdisciplinary and typically involves the use of social science methods to develop and test hypotheses. Both geo-SoTL and geo-DBER are important for improving the geoscience teaching practice. This inclusive definition of GER is consistent with its use in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 GER workshops, its use in a 2015 survey of GER community needs, and with the philosophical foundation for the GER strength of evidence pyramid. NAGT is pleased to host an array of resources for the geoscience education research community and recognizes the important feedbacks that scholarly research has on geoscience teaching and learning.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, the geoscience education researcher (GER) community has collaboratively developed a toolbox of resources to help faculty start or improve how they do research on geoscience teaching and learning. The Toolbox begins with a section on the basics and development of GER with an introductory resource reading list. The other main sections of the Toolbox provide resources and advice on: Instruments and Surveys, Analytical Tools, Conducting GER Studies Across Institutions, Navigating a Career in GER, Getting Published, and Translating Results into Practice.
In order to guide future investments of time and resources in geoscience education research (GER), the community has developed a framework with NSF support of grand challenges across ten major themes in GER. These grand challenges can provide direction to current and future researchers about where the community thinks effort should be made to answer some fundamental questions about undergraduate geoscience teaching and learning.
NAGT has a division committed to the promotion of high quality, scholarly research in geoscience education that improves teaching and learning in K-12, higher education, and informal learning environments. Geoscience education researchers are encouraged to join the GER Division to engage in important conversations and connections within our active and growing GER community of practice. You can read more about the Role of the GER Division in Promoting a Community of Practice in their Idea Paper from 2016.
Faculty, graduate students, and administrators engaged in geoscience education research have contributed essays on various topics to this collection of Idea Papers. Themes identified in these Idea Papers helped inform the advice and resources in the GER Toolbox.
Workshops and Webinars
The establishment of the Earth Educator Rendezvous has become a venue for bringing the GER community together for in-depth workshops. Webinars have been used to disseminate information useful to both workshop attendees and the broader community.
- Workshop: Geoscience Education Research Grand Challenges and Strategies Workshop (2017)
- Webinar: Results from the GER Grand Challenges Survey (2017)
- Workshop: Geoscience Education Research Community Planning (2016)
- Webinar: Results from the Geoscience Education Research (GER) Survey - Data for Setting Priorities in the GER Community (2016)
- Workshop: Synthesizing Geoscience Education Research: Where are we? What is the path forward? (2015)
- Webinar: Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) and Geoscience (2015)
NAGT-Sponsored GER Projects
NAGT has a long history of supporting geoscience education research. Below are recent GER projects in which NAGT has been an important contributing partner.