Recommended Readings

These references are recommended as a place to start for those newly interested in research on learning in the geosciences. The first section is for geoscientists new to congitive science. The second section is for cognitive scientists new to geoscience.

For Geoscientists New to Cognitive Science

Earth and Mind: How Geologists Think and Learn about the Earth

Edited by Cathryn Manduca and David Mogk, this volume brings together essays by geoscientists, cognitive scientists, and educators that explore how expert geoscientists learn about the Earth and the implications for student learning.

These three landmark books are written specifically for faculty to bring the foundations of learning science into use in teaching:

  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, NRC, 2000 This book written for faculty describes the basic research on learning and its implications for teaching.
  • Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment, NRC, 2001 This book describes the intellectual foundations of assessment for faculty as a framework for understanding student learning.
  • Active Learning in Secondary and College Science Classrooms
    Joel Michael and Harold Modell, 2003.

An overview of the role of visualization in learning:

Looking at design of software and curriculum to support learning in the geosciences:

  • Edelson, 2001 . Learning-For-Use: A Framework for the Design of Technology-Supported Inquiry Activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38 (3), 355-385.
  • Edelson et al., 1999 . Addressing the challenges of inquiry-based learning through technology and curriculum design. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 8(3/4), 391-450.
  • Edelson, D. C., & Gordin, D. (1998). Visualization for learners: A framework for adapting scientists' tools. Computers and Geosciences, 24(7), 607-616.
  • Internet Environments for Science Education, Marcia Linn, Elizabeth Davis, Philip Bell

These papers describe studies specific to the learning in the geosciences:

  • The Relationship between Students' Epistemologies and Model-Based Reasoning. Gobert, J. & Discenna, J. (1997). ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED409164.
  • Effects of student-generated diagrams versus student-generated summaries on conceptual understanding of causal and dynamic knowledge in plate tectonics. Gobert and Clement, 1999 . Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(1), 39-53.
  • The Hidden Earth: Visualization of Geologic Features and their Subsurface Geometry (more info)
  • Development and Evaluation of Where are We?: Map-skills Software and Curriculum
    Kastens et al., 2001
  • A Virtual Journey within the Rock-Cycle: A Software Kit for the Development of Systems-Thinking in the Context of the Earth's Crust
    Kali, 2003

Important references from work in the cognate sciences:

  • Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite, Redish, 2003 - Research on learning applied to physics.
  • University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group Website. 
    A comprehensive website on physics education research.

For Cognitive Scientists New to Geoscience

Using an Earth Systems Approach to Earth Science Education:

Ireton, Manduca and Mogk, 1997
Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Earth Science Education: Innovation and Change Using an Earth System Approach, American Geophysical Union.

National Science Education Standards:

NRC, 1996
These standards recommend geoscience content for elementary, middle and high school students in the United States.

Benchmark statement from the United Kingdom:

Earth Science, Environmental Science and Environmental Studies 
A description of the expectations for a bachelor's degree, with honours, in Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and Environmental Studies (in the UK).

These reports describe the current research agenda in the geosciences.