Teaching about the Earth in the context of societal problems

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Teaching about the Earth in the context of societal problems -- Discussion  

This post was edited by Rachel Teasdale on Jul, 2017
What is it about problem based learning that make it effective for student learning? (what components are most effective? how effective is it?)
What components of PBL should be built into curriculum? - What pedagogical strategies associated with PBL are most powerful and should be included (or avoided)? - In an undergrad setting do the science & engineering practices work?

What pedagogy and methodologies help students define problems? How can those be scaffolded? What are the most effective strategies for giving them experience designing/identifying problems (local issues, global scale) especially using local experiences to address global issues?
What do students bring with them (misconceptions etc) that impact their ability to identify problems
What are the stepping stones to scaffolding activities that guide students to develop an argument (e.g. explain a phenomenon and then...) pitfalls are there? (Misconceptions, political/religious ideologies, etc)
How can we give students experiences addressing societal issues the way a scientist would address the issues and is this a good format for developing such activities?
**In using service learning many students continue with those services (after getting points) because it's meaningful to them- so what are the long term impacts or what evidence is there for service learning changing behaviors of students? What components of service learning are best practices? How do we measure/assess the impact of service learning? (**this was reported out)


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This post was edited by Rachel Teasdale on Jul, 2017
What kind of assessment is there/could there be to measure the impact of service learning (with an eye to development of more SL, justification of using SL)? (See the "Service Learning in Undergraduate Geosciences: Proceedings of a workshop (2017) from National Academies Press)
Is there evidence for the efficacy of teaching about the earth (e.g. climate change) - how can balance the need to be apolitical but still convey the importance of societal issues and the need for activism?
How do we navigate the inherent biases that students bring to curriculum on societal problems (e.g. politics of Climate Change, religious veiws etc)?
Can we use/develop a scale of credibility of science resources?
How do we balance being apolitical with demonstrating our passion for a societal issue? (Naomi Riaski NY Times article on how we feed students confirmation bias)- so is there research the instructor's biases (if we are too passionate or too neutral, do we give students the impression that an issue is too emotional or not important)?


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This post was edited by Rachel Teasdale on Jul, 2017
What are learning implications of non-science factors on science issues? What is the critical amount of the non-science info that is needed to convey the importance of societal issues?
How do we balance the need to get students fired up about an issue with learning the scientific content?
In using a flipped class (students read before class and then come to class for discussion)- readings are editorial or essay on the topic and a companion article from scientific literature- how do I know if this is effective for student learning? What is the balance of the use of non-science lit resources vs. scientific journal articles? What course levels have which balances?


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Can we measure the impact of story telling (she gives them terms from the book and they write a story that correctly uses those words in a story- non-fiction/fiction/memoir-style etc.) as a way to for students to learn scientific content- can they learn vocabulary?
Can we develop a longitudinal study of students who were and were not engaged in curriculum related to societal issues to see what long term effects on their learning and behaviors?
What are the impacts of using pre- and post course evaluations and giving the students their pre and post to compare the two to see for themselves their own progression?
If the goal is for students to experience material outside their world view of "haves" and "have nots" - what activities are collaborative and welcoming and give the students the chance to "see" another point of view (urban-rural experiences etc.)?


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Where to disseminate?
Somewhere the chair of my dept would see it and tell us to use it
On the SERC site- with links to the research that substantiates it
On the SERC site where exemplar activities are located and with links to the research that supports the activity
In Webinars
In a central location that can be easily accessed and spread throughout my department


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be sure to collaborate with other programs- SENCER.net; campus compact who have done research or may have opportunities for collaborations


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