Best practices for teaching in the field based on research-based evidence

David Mogk, Montana State University

Geoscientists have an implicit understanding that "field work is good", and their instructional practice is based largely on prior experience. This "practitioner's wisdom" has much validity. But we now understand the importance of proper preparation of students prior to field instruction (e.g., "novelty space"), the importance of embodied learning (in both the physical and social setting of field instruction), and the difficulties encountered by students in creating inscriptions (i.e., their representations of the natural world). A review paper would be useful to identify the barriers to learning that students experience at all stages of field instruction (introductory to independent thesis work, in classes for majors, field courses), and the interventions and activities that can help lower these barriers. Bottom line: be explicit about what you (as a master) are seeing and doing in the field, and why.