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ERIC Number: EJ1164752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Using National Parks to Transform Physical Geology into an Inquiry Experience
Newbill, Phyllis Leary
Journal of Geoscience Education, v57 n1 p41-47 Jan 2009
For an inquiry-based alternative to lectures and recall tests, I encouraged learners to become "geotourists"; that is, learners researched and developed a geologic guidebook to a United States National Park of their choice. Over the course of a semester, students wrote chapters on plate tectonics, the rock cycle, geologic history, groundwater and hydrology, geomorphology, and topographic maps. By applying the physical geology concepts to a particular location, learners found the material to be relevant and engaging. Keys to success included developing detailed rubrics, reading multiple drafts, and using appropriate instructional technologies. Students who participated in the class reported that the project involved considerable work, but was more interesting and relevant than lecture exams.
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A