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Problems in geologic education, the elementary course


, : Problems in geologic education, the elementary course. Journal of Geological Education 7(1): 36-39

In Aug. 1958 the Geology Department of the University of Illinois completed its second Summer Institute sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Since further institutes are not planned by the authors, we take this opportunity to sum up the interactions of 82 participants, visiting lecturers, and staff members to problems of geologic education. Many problems stem from the fact that geology is both a derivative and a natural science in its own right. To handle it requires the ability to think in terms of several variables at once, to recognize problems and ways of dealing with them, and to ap- preciate the development and significance of hypotheses and the evidence upon which each rests. This calls for the use of judgment. To contribute to the advancement of geologic knowledge requires, in addition, creative ability. The nature of our science poses problems of student and teacher preparation. Problems imposed by society and our educational system have to do with enrollment and the diverse educational aims of the various colleges and universities. It was agreed that teachers should stimulate and guide the student in his own development, help him think and write critically and creatively, recognize problems and approaches to them, and appreciate the importance of facts and reasoning from facts. This can be accomplished by conceptual rather than merely informational instruction, by class discussions and reports, and by early research by capable students. The need to attract more of the better science students and for a strong foundation in fundamental sciences was recognized.

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