Keeping Curricula Current
How Can Geoscience Curricula Prepare Our Students for the Future?
Video of the presentation
Slides and written summary
The field of geoscience is constantly evolving. How can we design (and revise) our curricula to prepare our students for the future?
My answer to this question has been significantly influenced by my Carleton teachers and colleagues: Dave Bice, Scott Bierman, Shelby Boardman, Ed Buchwald, Liz Ciner, Clint Cowan, Cam Davidson, Bereket Haileab, Cathy Manduca, Julie Maxson, Sarah Titus, and Chico Zimmerman.
what the future will look like (in the geosciences). If current trends continue, future geoscientists will engage in more applied geoscience work, in collaboration with others, studying a broader spectrum of issues. These issues will, in general, have greater societal relevance, and will involve managing more complex data sets.
Next we need to consider curricula and curricular change.
Models of Curricular Change
In all of these models, the changes tend to be additive: there is always more to teach.
Designing a Curriculum
The content of an individual course can vary quite a lot, depending on one's audience. Probably the most obvious example of this is an introductory geology course. Which courses will be part of the "core curriculum" and which will be electives will also vary depending on context, as will course sequencing. Finally, one must decide how to fit research experiences, independent study opportunities, and other nonstandard courses into the curriculum.
A combination of these three models of curricular design is probably most effective.