Advances in Paleontology
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Study Guide

This page was written by Erin Klauk as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education.

The purpose of this study guide is to help teachers prepare a unit using the information presented on this website. To explore some of the different approaches that can be taken, follow the links below.

Starting Point

The Starting Point project is exploring the ability of on-line resources to catalyze improvements in undergraduate teaching. The goal is to develop a resource that intimately integrates pedagogy with teaching resources and fully supports a virtual community of educators. Starting Point attempts to bridge the gap between information about teaching methods and the everyday experiences of geoscience faculty by providing geoscience specific arguments and examples. In every case, Starting Point tries to provide all of the information needed for a faculty member or graduate student to make an informed decision about the methodology that they use in a particular teaching situation, and to implement a technique easily and well.

The Jigsaw Method

Using this method, students are assigned to investigate different aspects of the same problem or issue. For example, each team might analyze a different but related data set or read an article on different aspects or viewpoints on the same topic. Once each team member thoroughly understands his/her team's aspect of the problem, new groups are formed, with at least one representative from each original team. Each individual then explains her/his team's aspect of the problem to the new group. In this way, every student learns every aspect of the problem. Each group then uses combined information to evaluate a summary issue.
example jigsaw activity

Role Play Exercises

In most role-playing exercises, each student takes the role of a person affected by an Earth science issue, such as ethics in paleontology, and studies the impacts of Earth science issues on human life and/or the effects of human activities on the world around us from the perspective of that person. This sort of exercise could also be used as a debate by dividing a class into ?????
example role play activity

Socratic Questioning

Open-ended questions allow students to explore scientifically significant questions while focusing on their own interests.
examples of exploration questions



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