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ERIC Number: EJ1164226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Using Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes of Hair to Teach about Sustainable Agriculture through Active Learning
Cotton, Jennifer M.; Sheldon, Nathan D.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v61 n1 p59-67 Feb 2013
The call for reform of science education is nearly three decades old (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983), but the implementation of such education improvements in the form of active learning techniques in large enrollment classes remains difficult. Here we present a class project designed to increase student involvement and quantitative analysis skills in a large enrollment lecture geared towards nonscience majors. We use the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic analyses of hair to teach students about the impacts of industrial agriculture through quantitative assessment of diet in an environmental science course. Assessment of student learning, which was determined through exam questions and also through a feedback questionnaire, was overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating the usefulness of this technique in bringing active learning to the large enrollment classroom.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1024535