Cathryn Manduca

Director, Science Education Resource Center


Science Education Resource Center

Carleton College

1 N College Street
Northfield, MN 55057

506 222-7096

What are, to you, the key issues in creating learning resources that support your teaching style and your student's learning styles?

What is your vision for the "textbook" of the future and what impediments do you see to realizing that vision?

I hope that we will start thinking more holistically about the role of resources for learning. These include reference materials--what most texts are today; essays or writings that situate material in a context that helps you understand how and why it is relevant (some texts do this as do things like John McPhee books); and materials that support learning through doing and thinking (case studies, interactive visualizations, etc). We need to have ways of organizing all of these things in ways that support teaching and learning more flexibly.

Describe briefly any research you have undertaken on teaching or learning.

I have worked to develop a picture of what the geoscience community understands regarding research on learning and particularly teaching with visualizations; teaching quantitative skills; and assessing and observing student learning. Based on this work, I have helped to outline research agendas for joint efforts in cognition,education,and geoscience. I have also engaged in some preliminary work to understand what scientists and students see in different kinds of visualizations and what that implies for learning.

You can find information about my work
on research on learning at;
on visualization at;
on assessment at

Have you created publicly accessible learning resources?

SERC provides professional development opportunites for faculty using both workshops and the web. A major part of our work is to help faculty share the excellent things they do in their classrooms in ways that other faculty can use them. We also work to link teaching materials with information on how to use them effectively.

How would you like to contribute to the workshop?

I would like to share my understanding of how faculty can help one another with both methods and resources and to discuss how this work relates to the role of the textbook.

What would you like to take away from the workshop?

New understanding of how faculty think about textbooks; new colleagues; new ideas