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Pre-Service Educators

This webpage draws on discussion by participants at the 2012 Teaching the Methods of Geoscience Workshop to support faculty in developing students' geoscientific thinking skills. You can browse the entire collection of activities, courses and essays from this workshop.
Students who are majoring in elementary education or secondary science education need to be able to teach their students about the nature and methods of geoscience and do so while teaching content and skills drawn from state and national standards. These pre-service teachers are the population who will bring their enthusiasm and knowledge about science to K-12 students. If pre-service teachers have strong geoscientific thinking skills, they will be more effective at teaching their own students geoscientific thinking.


Elementary Level

See example activities that explicitly incorporates geoscientific thinking for pre-service elementary level geoscience education students
Read an essay on teaching geoscientific thinking to pre-service elementary level geoscience education studentsExplore course descriptions that address geoscientific thinking for pre-service elementary level geoscience education students
  • In the course description titled, Inquiry into Earth and Space Science Kyle Gray, University of Northern Iowa, shares how he uses an inquiry-based approach explicitly to help elementary education students think geoscientifically.
  • Jennifer Anderson, Winona State University, models good science teaching methods and strategies for elementary educators in her course titled, Investigative Science I and III.
  • The course titled, Oregon Field Geology, by Charles "Kip" Ault, Lewis and Clark College, introduces non-geologists to the nature of geological reasoning through field experiences.
  • In his course titled, Earth History and the Fossil Record, James Ebert, State University of New York, College at Oneonta, describes how he pairs teaching the history of the Earth with teaching the techniques of this history is known.
Additional resources

Secondary Level

See example activities that explicitly incorporate geoscientific thinking for pre-service secondary level geoscience education students
  • Charles "Kip" Ault, Lewis and Clark College, describes how he helps students translate an unfamiliar geoscience concept to a familiar analogue in his activity titled, My geologic address.
  • In his activity titled, Discovering the principles of relative age dating, James Ebert, State University of New York, College at Oneonta, gives students the opportunity to derive general principles or laws on their own from geoscientific evidence.
Read an essay on teaching geoscientific thinking to pre-service secondary level geoscience education studentsExplore course descriptions that address geoscientific thinking for pre-service secondary level geoscience education students
  • Anne Egger, Central Washington University, aims to give secondary science education students experience practicing geoscientific thinking to increase their knowledge of and comfort in thinking this way in her course titled, Teaching the Geology of the Pacific Northwest.
  • In his course titled, History and Nature of Science, Jeff Thomas, Central Connecticut State University, describes how he teaches students to understand and use geoscience methods by comparing and using methods from different science disciplines (such as biology).
  • The course titled, Oregon Field Geology, by Charles "Kip" Ault, Lewis and Clark College, introduces non-geologists to the nature of geological reasoning through field experiences.
Additional resources


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