Registration Details

This half-day workshop is part of the GSA Short Course 4-Pack. For $55, select any two workshops from the four (add 519C or 519D). Early registration ends on September 23. To sign up for a workshop, use the GSA meeting registration.

519A. Teaching Geoscientific Thinking: What Does It Mean and How Do I Do It?

Co-sponsored by NAGT and the Geoscience Education Division of GSA

Saturday, October 26, 2013 - 8:00 am to noon
Part of the GSA Short Course 4-Pack

Instructor: Anne Egger, Central Washington University

Workshop description

The methods and ways of thinking that are intrinsic to Earth science differ in important ways from the experimental procedures that are commonly taught in schools as the scientific method. The phrase geoscientific thinking encompasses the ideas that describe what makes geoscience unique as a discipline yet still clearly part of science as a whole. This half-day workshop will highlight ways to help diverse students learn and develop geoscientific thinking skills appropriate for their level. Participants will explore general strategies for teaching geoscientific thinking and modify an existing activity to integrate geoscientific thinking more explicitly.

Before you go

Please bring 4 copies of an activity or course syllabus to share and get feedback on. You are welcome to bring a laptop, but there will be no internet access at the workshop.

Workshop program

You can download the workshop program here (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 106kB Oct23 13).

8:00 am Introductions and Ice breaker:What about your thinking makes you a geoscientist?

8:30 am Presentation: Defining geoscientific thinking and what it means to teach it Slides to introduce geoscientific thinking (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 32MB Nov9 13)

9:15 am Small group discussion: How does the focus change for different audiences?

9:45 am Break

10:00 am Small group work: Share your activity or course with each other and discuss ways to make geoscientific thinking more explicit

10:45 am Individual work: Modify course/activity with feedback, develop an action plan

11:15 am Report out: Changes made and action plans

11:45 am Summary, further resources, and workshop evaluations


Teach Geoscientific Thinking

This web-based resource was developed through the InTeGrate project, the NSF-funded STEP Center for geoscience. It includes a series of pages about strategies for teaching geoscientific thinking to different student audiences, teaching different aspects of geoscientific thinking, and more background information and readings. Specific activities, essays, and courses from a wide range of instructors are included here.

The Process of Science

This series of web-based readings for students covers many aspects of the process of science, not just geoscience. Readings that are particularly relevant for geoscientific thinking cover modeling and description in scientific research, as well as data analysis and communication. These materials are available for free on the web and also in print as a low-cost (~$15) book through Amazon.

How Science Works: The flowchart

This is an interactive diagram that describes the real process of science. Developed as part of the Understanding Science project at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. You can follow the journey of Walter Alvarez through the flowchart as he approached his understanding of the asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous.