"Field Excursions in Earth Science" is designed as a non-prerequisite field-based course for elementary education majors. Classic Canadian Shield and Michigan Basin outcrops and Quaternary features are used to teach those Earth science objectives considered most important for K-8 teachers by the Michigan State Board of Education and by others. We integrated these objectives into five conceptual pathways rather than presenting them as discrete pieces of information. A variety of teaching techniques based on constructivist educational theory are employed, so that pre-service teachers experience active-learning strategies in the context of how science is practiced. Our learning strategies address the cognitive and affective domains and utilize personal experiences in conjunction with pre- and post-experience organizers to allow students to develop individual meanings. We place emphasis on observations and concepts and we encourage students to explain their understanding of concepts verbally and in a variety of written formats. Activities address spatial concepts and map reading; mineral, rock, and fossil identification; formation of rocks; surficial processes and landform development; structural deformation and plate tectonics; and environmental issues. Students keep field notes and have daily projects. They address the pedagogical structure of the course in a daily diary.
Additional Publication Details
Introductory geology for elementary education majors utilizing a constructivist approach