Field-based instruction as part of a balanced geoscience curriculum at Washington and Lee University
Elizabeth P. Knapp, Lisa Greer, Christopher D. Connors, David J. Harbor 2006 Journal of Geoscience Education v54 p93-102
Traditionally at Washington and Lee University teaching in the field has been the core of our geology curriculum. We emphasize fieldwork at all levels of our instruction from the field-based introductory courses to our senior theses. We are fortunate to be located in a geologically diverse location (in the Valley and Ridge of Virginia and within minutes of the Blue Ridge Mountains). The close proximity of geologic variety allows us to spend nearly every class or laboratory period outside. We view fieldwork, however, as just the beginning of geoscience education. A crucial aspect of field geology is making observations and synthesizing the data collected. It is equally important for students to have well-developed skills in field methods, in analytical techniques, in computation and modeling, and in synthesis and presentation. To emphasize all of these aspects, our coursework is largely focused on emulating the process of research. Because we have had such a strong field emphasis, we are striving to strike a balance in our curriculum. We will present 3 examples of integrated exercises in our geology courses (including introductory geology, sedimentary geology, and geochemistry).
Research on Learning: Ways Of Learning:In the Field
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