Note: This workshop has already taken place. Presentations and workshop materials are linked in the program below.
Sunday, February 26
5:00-6:00 Reception and Icebreaker at the Dietz Museum in Bateman Physical Sciences F-Wing (PSF on campus maps)
7:00-7:30 Disciplinary perspectives panel: What do we want our students to understand about time? Why is that important?
- Erica Crespi, Biology: A Biologist's Perspective (PowerPoint 6MB Feb26 12)
- Erika Grundstrom, Astronomy/Physics: Cosmic Calendar
- Marguerite Forest, Environmental Geography
Notes from these talks in the private participant workspace
7:30-8:30 Roundtable discussions and synthesis
- Rates provide necessary context for decisions about sustainability
- Perspective and frame of reference for human history and human events
- Time is integral to understanding process (astronomical, geological, biological, environmental)
- Time is abstract concept; understanding can help students grasp other abstract concepts
- Important for students to understand scales of time that transcend human time
- Important to bridge cultural differences in understanding time
- Geology helps students better observe, reason, use evidence.
- Understand recurrence intervals; frequency and variability (e.g., flood recurrence)
- Students are challenged to understand and appreciate even generational time frames
- Respect for the planet
- Philosophical importance of deep time
- Relationship between place and time
- Time is a tool used to test hypotheses
- Dispelling myths related to catastrophes, end of the world, 2012, etc.
- We live in a constantly changing environment but changes are not all readily apparent because of different time scales
- Time scales crucial to understanding climate change; students seem to grasp magnitudes better than rates
- Significance of contingency in using observations of past changes to inform future predictions
- Understand the time scales involved in actual (not SF) space travel—a truly long commute
Monday, February 27
at the ASU Memorial Union (MU on campus maps)
8:45-9:00 Opening remarks
9:00-10:00 Computer-supported share fair: What we do
- Pete Berquist
- Gwen Daley
- Brett Dooley
- Maya Elrick
- Sarah Gerken
- Kathleen Gilbert and Maria Waller
- Erika Grundstrom
- Joann Hochstein
- Francis Jones
- Jessica Kapp and Phil Stokes
- Margaret Mayer
- Kevin Mullins
- Roger Steinberg
- Gina Szablewski
- Rebecca Teed
- Karen Viskupic
- John Weber
10:00-11:30 Invited talks: Placing events in time
- Ilyse Resnick: Representation and Understanding of Temporal Information (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1.2MB Feb27 12)
- Gwen Daley: Time is Long, Space is Large: The Problem of Large Numbers in Understanding Deep Time
- Roger Steinberg: Geologic Time Is Just Another Big Number (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 17MB Feb27 12)
- Karen Viskupic: Teaching about the Validity of Radiometric Dates (PowerPoint 24MB Feb27 12)
11:45-12:30 Discussion: Challenges and solutions for placing events in time
See notes from each group in the workspace:
2:00-2:15 Individual reflection time
2:15-3:30 Invited talks: Rates and durations
- Francis Jones: Comparing Knowledge about Rates of Landform Evolution and Geologic Time using a New Concept Inventory (Acrobat (PDF) 428kB Mar2 12)
- Maya Elrick: Challenges Associated with Rate and Time Estimates in Sedimentary Processes and Deposits (PowerPoint 11.5MB Feb28 12)
- Mark Schmitz: Dates, Durations, and Rates: Integrating Geochronology with Process (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 5.9MB Feb28 12)
- Cara Thompson: Rates of Global Climate Variation: Evaluating Past Records to Understand Implications of Modern Climate Change (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 1.9MB Feb28 12)
Related resources from NOAA: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/about1.html and http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/index.html
3:45-4:45 Concurrent small group sessions:
- Teaching About Geochronology/Absolute Ages - led by Susan Zimmerman
- Supporting Students with Different Preparation or Different Backgrounds - led by Joann Hochstein
- Assessing Temporal Learning - led by Steve Semken
4:45-5:45 Small group/whole group discussions on teaching about time
- Differently prepared students - clickers can be used to level playing field
- Assessment - backward design, importance of understanding the expert understanding to know what you want to assess.
- Geochronology - How to build trust in radiometric ages -- start with smaller logical jumps and scaffold way to long term radiometric dating; using multiple converging lines of evidence.
- Group 1 - Lack of familiarity with units generally makes understanding scales more difficult.
- Group 2 - Why should someone care -- connections to cultural values and processes like energy unit -- can't understand this without understanding rates.
- Group 3 - Local examples as motivation for understanding time scales.
- Group 4 - A good place for starting conversations about processes is to situate learning as leading to a decision about actions.
- Group 5 - How do we use earth's past to motivate decisions about our future -- important to establish the possibility of something (earth could be different, because it has been in the past) followed by discussion of probability.
- Group 6 - Importance of practicing evidence-based arguing for beliefs.
- How important it is to use analogies knowing how they work and how they fail -- loose use of analogy may be harmful - how to help students make the analogical mapping.
- Students envision objects as unchanging where geoscientists see them as steps in a process.
- Sequence may be easier to teach than duration.
- Experts are facile moving from one scale of time to a radically different one -- students need more scaffolding to do this -- there are suggestions for how to scaffold this and some tools on the Rates and Time website.
- Making estimates at various levels of accuracy and not getting stuck with the search for a more refined answer than we need.
- The weaving together of narrative and numeric understanding to create a rich enough understanding of a time period to give it appropriate weight in our minds.
- Individual reflection on key insights and big challenges
- Table discussion of insights and challenges
- Importance of a story of geological history - opportunities for creativity and outside knowledge
- Importance of scaffolding in general (meant different things to different people)
- Time - time analogies vs. time - space analogies: use the hour of the class; assign students to mark geologic events on this scale verbally through the hour
- How to get people to care -- including students at higher levels and non students
- Teaching to the difference between naive understanding versus misconceptions
- Why do students not 'get' radiometric dating/geochronology
- What are our learning goals - what do we want them to remember -- have to start with this, e.g.
- Importance of teaching how scientists work - how we string together evidence
- Need to step back and ask more basic questions - e.g. what is a clock as a basis for understanding assumptions, strengths etc.
- How important and to what depth do we them to understand magnitude -- more important to understand that the Precambrian is long than to know its exact length?
- Value of understanding what students know/don't know at outset to gauge level and focus of instruction -- have to know what questions to ask to be able to do this well -- how is this base level related to the learning goals for the course
- Process of taking exams and receiving feedback helps student develop metacognition and understanding of what they know (true, false, don't know, how certain are you)
- Research targets:
- Does the process of deriving a clock or calculating time or dating things enhance students' ability to understand concepts of time?
- Do they understand the diagrams we present better if they create the diagrams themselves?
- How do different aspects of temporal understanding interconnect or not interconnect to support different geologic concepts?
5:45-6:15 Plan for tomorrow - set up working groups
Ideas for working groups:
- Teaching geochronology/radiometric dating
- How to estimate time
- learning goals
- teaching time with analogies
- pre-course assessment
- motivating students
6:15-6:30 Personal reflection; road check
Dinner on your own (We are hoping you will form small groups and not eat alone--we'll have recommendations for restaurants)
Tuesday, February 28
8:45-9:15 Opening remarks; establish working groups
9:15-11:30 Working group time
- Learning Goals
- Baseline Assessment
- Mastery Assessment
- Teaching Activity 1: Geochronology
- Teaching Activity 2: Tectonics
- Teaching Activity 3: Climate
- Teaching Activity 4: Landforms
11:30-12:15 Reconvene and shuffle groups for feedback
12:15-1:30 Lunch - with possible worktime
EarthTime project description (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 579kB Mar2 12) - Mark Schmitz
1:30-3:00 Working group time
3:30-4:00 Working group reports
4:00-4:45 Discuss synthesis report in the private participant workspace
4:45-6:00 Next steps, concluding remarks, and workshop evaluation
6:30 Dinner at Z'Tejas