Student Learning of Complex Earth Systems, Part I: Conceptual Frameworks of Earth Systems and Instructional Design

Tuesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
Poster Session


Hannah Scherer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ
Lauren Holder, Texas A & M University
Bruce Herbert, Texas A & M University
Engaging students in authentic problem solving concerning environmental issues in near surface complex earth systems involves both developing student conceptualization of the earth as a system and applying that scientific knowledge using problem solving techniques that model the thinking and reasoning of professionals, including adaptive management, risk assessment, and characterization of ecological services. As part I of a review of student learning about complex earth systems, this poster will review prominent conceptual frameworks of earth systems and approaches to instructional design for achieving student learning outcomes related to systems thinking. Drawing from a review of the discipline-based education research literature from the earth sciences and beyond, we will discuss the relationship between these frameworks, instructional approaches, and the types of learning outcomes that are supported. Finally, we will use agricultural systems as an illustrative example of a complex system to which these different frameworks can be applied. Input from the geoscience education research community is invited.