Shaping the Future of Undergraduate Earth Science Education > About This Report and Workshop

About This Report and Workshop

The AGU, in cooperation with the Keck Geology Consortium and with support from five divisions within the National Science Foundation (DUE, EAR, OCE, ATM, OPP), convened a workshop November 15-17, 1996, at AGU headquarters to define common educational goals among all disciplines in the Earth sciences. An advisory committee met in August 1996 to develop the agenda for the workshop and to identify workshop participants. Key topics were identified for consideration: the questions of "why," "what," and "how" to engage education through an Earth system science approach; the related topics of integration of research and education; changing the academic culture; diversity issues; and connections with K–12 and lifelong education to meet the needs of all students.

Working groups were formed based on participants' commitment to excellence in education and with the goal of seeking the broadest representation of discipline, institution type, geographic distribution, and demographics. Each group exchanged ideas via e-mail prior to the workshop, which contributed greatly to the effective composition of this document. At the workshop each working group met initially to articulate the central ideas to be addressed by the group. Opportunities were provided for intergroup exchanges, and draft documents were produced by each group while at the workshop. The proceedings of this workshop are the first disciplinary response to [link/shapingfuture/bibliography.html#shaping1996 'Shaping the Future'] (NSF 96-139) and From Analysis to Action (NRC, 1996). The recent publication of the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) also provides an immediate incentive to actively engage science education reform in the Earth and space sciences at all levels.