Initial Publication Date: October 16, 2017

Geoscientific Thinking and Introductory Geoscience Students

This webpage draws on discussion by participants at the 2012 Teaching the Methods of Geoscience Workshop to support faculty in developing students' geoscientific thinking skills. You can browse the entire collection of activities, courses and essays from this workshop.
Introductory geoscience courses are taken by students in all disciplines, often to fulfill general education requirements. They provide an excellent opportunity emphasize how geoscience knowledge and geoscientific thinking contribute to solving societal issues. Teaching geoscientific thinking in these courses will reach students who go on to become economists, lawyers, social scientists, and everything else, highlighting for them the unique contributions that come from the geosciences and what they can offer in an interdisciplinary context. Being explicit is particularly important in these courses, since it may be the only exposure students have to the concept of geoscientific thinking.

See example activities that explicitly incorporates geoscientific thinking for introductory geoscience students

Read essays on teaching geoscientific thinking to introductory geoscience students

Explore a course description that addresses geoscientific thinking for introductory geoscience students

  • Becca Walker, Mt. San Antonio College, focuses on using field experiences in her Introductory Field Studies course.
  • In her course titled, Earth Systems Science, Kim Hannula, Ft. Lewis College, describes how she addresses her main goal of getting students to evaluate multiple hypotheses by using geologic data.
  • Kaatje Kraft, Mesa Community College, explains how students evaluate different types of evidence to both understand geologic hazards and to assess risks in her course titled, Geologic Disasters and the Environment.
Additional resources