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ERIC Number: EJ944666
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6803
A "Coprolitic Vision' for Earth Science Education
Clary, Renee M.; Wandersee, James H.
School Science and Mathematics, v111 n6 p262-273 Oct 2011
William Buckland (1784-1846) first identified and scientifically studied coprolites in the early 1820s. Although some of his contemporaries did not look favorably upon him or his research, Buckland's early experiments advanced paleoecology and taphonomy. Because our informal presentations with coprolites resulted in students' spirited reactions, we investigated whether coprolite introduction, accompanied with its history of science, had potential for meaningful learning in K-12 Earth Science classrooms. Practicing Earth Science teachers (N = 28) enrolled in an online paleontology course researched coprolites, identified potential student interest, and designed coprolite activities for their individual classrooms. Resulting projects were diverse and creative, and incorporated investigations into fossilization processes, paleoenvironments, food chains, and geologic time. In anonymous surveys, teachers indicated that their students' interest in coprolites is high. We propose inclusion of coprolites and their history in Earth Science classrooms as a portal to hook students' interest and as springboard to additional scientific topics. (Contains 1 table, 6 figures, and 5 notes.)
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A