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ERIC Number: EJ1164475
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Changes in Geologic Time Understanding in a Class for Preservice Teachers
Teed, Rebecca; Slattery, William
Journal of Geoscience Education, v59 n3 p151-162 Aug 2011
The paradigm of geologic time is built on complex concepts, and students master it in multiple steps. Concepts in Geology is an inquiry-based geology class for preservice teachers at Wright State University. The instructors used the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) to determine if students' understanding of key ideas about geologic time and Earth history changed between the first and last day of the course. For three of the four GCI questions analyzed in this study, the number of correct student responses increased significantly between the pretest and the post-test, indicating that many of the students were learning the concepts being tested. Our analyses indicates that for two of the GCI questions, certain incorrect pretest choices were more likely to give way to correct post-test answers than others. For example, on a question about timelines, students who chose the answer that gave a correct order of events (incorrectly scaled) on the pretest were more likely to switch to the correct answer on the post-test than students who chose an answer with both an incorrect order and scale on the pretest. These results imply that some misconceptions are more likely than others to grow into a correct understanding. Misconceptions that consist of multiple incorrect ideas may require more time and effort to replace than simpler ones.
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: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio (Dayton)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A