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ERIC Number: EJ1164455
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
An Integrated Field-Based Approach to Building Teachers' Geoscience Skills
Almquist, Heather; Stanley, George; Blank, Lisa; Hendrix, Marc; Rosenblatt, Megan; Hanfling, Seymour; Crews, Jeffrey
Journal of Geoscience Education, v59 n1 p31-40 Feb 2011
The Paleo Exploration Project was a professional development program for K-12 teachers from rural eastern Montana. The curriculum was designed to incorporate geospatial technologies, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and total station laser surveying, with authentic field experiences in geology and paleontology in an effort to enhance teachers' abilities to incorporate geospatial technologies and inquiry-based approaches into their classrooms. The program included preparatory weekend workshops for teachers and week-long summer research institutes for teachers and students, in which core geosciences skills were practiced in the field. These skills included (1) geology-related spatial visualization, (2) understanding absolute geologic time, including the concepts of physical and temporal correlation of stratigraphic units, (3) actualistic thinking, or the ability to interpret ancient environments through comparison with modern ones, (4) geological field strategies and techniques, and (5) scientific reasoning. Teachers responded very positively to the program, and nearly all went on to create, implement, and enhance their own technology-embedded, inquiry-based projects with their own students over the following two years. Intense preparation for the field experience, including building teacher content knowledge, technology skills, and field techniques, as well as the field-based approach, combining GIS as a visualization tool with field-based examination of geologic features, metacognitive reflection, and working with students in the field, were considered key elements of the program's success.
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
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Montana
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0918683