Title

Selected Topics from an Exemplary Earth Science Curriculum

Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date

5-1990

Degree Title

Master of Science in Earth Science Education

Department

Geosciences

Major Advisor

Monte W. Wilson

Abstract

I have designed an earth science program in which an individual can enjoy and learn about the wonders of nature by means of color slides, videotapes, and actual field experience. I advocate activities that promote "hands on" and inquiry approach to learning.

Two outstanding science educators made an impression on me in my early science education. Mr. Don Haynes of Lewiston High School and Professor Terry Armstrong of the University of Idaho. They not only taught me the facts and methods of science, but also taught me that learning can be fun and that laughter is an essential part of the classroom environment. My educational viewpoint-s have also been influenced by the works of Dr. Madelyn Hunter and Dr. Harry Wong.

My main concern is that the students gain an understanding and awareness of the environment around them. They need to know that they live on a finite world with limited resources, and that as individuals they can have a positive or negative influence on the well being of "spaceship earth." A population literate in science should be the goal of all science educators. Students must understand the nature and usefulness of science.

As a teacher, I see myself as a salesman who has a viable product, earth science. The students are the consumer who will be eager and receptive to my sales pitch. I really must make the product appealing and exciting, as well as, useful, enjoyable, and applicable to my consumers, the students.

I accomplish this by the liberal use of comedy and earth science jokes with personal experiences relating to the subject matter- that I am teaching. Visual and "hands on" experiences enhances the course. I use numerous color slides, videotapes, and weekly labs to maintain interest and curiosity. Weekend and summer fieldtrips also support what is taught in the classroom. The student is able to see, feel, and experience the subject matter that they are reading about in the textbook.

I have spent the past 21 year-s upgrading my earth science program through student responses from the end of the year evaluations of the class and of myself. Student input is important to me. I believe that through these responses I have developed a science program which helps the student to see, appreciate, and understand the wonders and beauty of nature.