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GEOED-RESEARCH  December 2008

GEOED-RESEARCH December 2008

Subject:

Re: distinction on List of MS or PhD programs in Geoscience Education/Geocognition

From:

Steven Semken <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

GEOEDUCATION RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 19:52:51 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (276 lines)

Colleagues,

I'd second Julie's observations. Precisely because of the divergent career opportunities she lucidly presented, geo-ed PhD students at our university will pursue different research programs depending on whether they're based in our School of Earth and Space Exploration or over in the College of Education. In SESE we require a meaningful component of geoscience research as well as cognitive or education research in the dissertation, whereas the College of Ed does not. PhD candidacy and defense policies also differ between the two units.

However, at ASU and doubtless elsewhere, there is a great deal of overlap in mentoring, coursework, and financial support. Steve Reynolds and I can and do advise and even supervise geo-ed PhD students in the College of Education, and our Education colleagues also co-advise our MS and PhD students. Students in both units also freely and regularly take graduate courses in both, and I've also provided a number of research assistantships to Education grad students who are pursuing geo-ed studies. I would suggest that the nature of articulation between Science and Education units at any given institution is an important factor for potential grad students to consider.

Happy New Year all,

Steve


Steven Semken, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor of Geoscience Education and Geological Sciences
School of Earth and Space Exploration
Arizona State University
POB 871404, Tempe AZ 85287 USA



-----Original Message-----
From: GEOEDUCATION RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP on behalf of Julie Libarkin
Sent: Tue 30-Dec-08 10:50
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: distinction on List of MS or PhD programs in Geoscience Education/Geocognition
 
This is a great discussion for us to be having - First, apologies to
anyone if I get my facts a little wrong! Second: This is wordy, I know
- this topic is one I find very interesting!

Faculty with joint appointments and ability to supervise students in
multiple departments is becoming more common, but how does a student
interested in working with a joint-appointed faculty member decide
which department to join?

The lack of distinction between career paths might be true in other
disciplines, but in geosciences I would caution that this is not the
case. In the past 12 years there have been ~30 advertised geoscience
education faculty positions that were filled, and the research-
oriented ones hired PhDs in science, with a few exceptions. With only
one exception that I know of (Iris Totten - she is a petroleum
geologist with a doctorate in education), the geoscience ed RESEARCH
faculty housed in geoscience departments all hold doctoral degrees in
science. If we expand and look at faculty in non-research oriented
positions housed in geoscience departments, then we have a few more
people with doctorates in education, but not many. Of course,
background is more than just the doctorate: I held a postdoc in
science education (PhD in tectonics), and Karen McNeal's PhD is a
unique combination of biogeochem and geoscience ed research. Some
folks, like Joe Elkins, hold teaching certifications. There are a few
places (Towson University, University of Arizona, James Madison, I
think) that house science education faculty with education doctorates
in science departments, but this is not the norm. A PhD awarded by a
science department (for geocog/geoed research or other) is, for now, a
must in getting a geoed research faculty position in a GEOLOGY
department. The National Research Council hosted a discussion in 2005
that might be of interest: http://www7.nationalacademies.org/CFE/STEM_Disciplines_Agenda.html

When we look at geoed researchers housed in EDUCATION departments, the
story is flipped. These faculty almost all hold education doctorates,
and many have requisite K-12 teaching experience (there were a couple
of dissertations written on this topic, in fact). An exception, sort
of: Heather Petcovic is tenure-home in a geology dept., earned a PhD
in petrology, and does most of her work through an interdisciplinary
institute. Her students earn MS in the disciplinary home and an
education doctorate through the Malinson Institute. I also know that
former NSF PFSMETE fellows (PhD in STEM, postdoc in science ed) were
almost all unable to move into education colleges; most (not all, of
course) who are in academia are housed in science departments or
interdisciplinary institutes. The lack of an education doctorate,
despite the postdoc, made getting a faculty position in an education
college quite difficult.

The story is more mixed for positions designed for places where
science departments conduct pre-service and in-service teacher
education. Some faculty are tenure-home in education and some are
tenure-home in geology, and the tenure-home usually reflects the
doctoral degree home.

Personally, I think having these divides inhibits the exchange of
ideas and sets up artificial barriers. Unfortunately, the realty is
that if a student wants a career in academia (not the only career
path!), then the choice of College for the doctoral degree will likely
dictate where they can get a job in the future. I hope this will
eventually change, and we can all do our part to help bring down these
barriers. For now, I want to help inform prospective students about
the choices they are going to need to be making early in their
careers. If a student is interested in teaching teachers or working in
an education college, I generally send them to colleagues in education
programs. I have even encouraged a student to work in someone else's
cognitive science program when I realized that my graduate program
might not be the best choice for the student's career plans.

Anyway, very windy, but this is a subject close to my academic-heart!

Take care and Happy Holidays,
Julie

On Dec 30, 2008, at 10:55 AM, Tim Slater wrote:

> Hi all! For us at Wyoming (and it was the same with the program we
> built at
> the University of Arizona where I just moved from), a distinction
> between
> college of science and college of education really didn't turn out
> to be
> very important. Some of the program faculty have joint or affiliated
> faculty status in both colleges and can supervise students in either
> college. The only real difference is which department students
> choose to
> take their qualifying examinations in as we have set it up with the
> intetion
> that our course requirements are pretty much the same. And, after
> having
> quite a few graduate students myself (and looking at the careers of my
> graduate school peers from John Carpenter's University of South
> Carolina
> Geoscience Education Research Program), I don't really see substantial
> evidence that these folks have actually ended up with different career
> tracks as one might initially assume. IMHO, Tim
>
> University of Wyoming
> Excellence in Higher Education Endowed
> Professor of Science Education
> Cognition in Astronomy, Physics, and Earth sciences Research (CAPER)
> Team
>> http://www.uwyo.edu/caper
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GEOEDUCATION RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen Reynolds
> Sent: Monday, December 29, 2008 10:46 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Wyoming: List of MS or PhD programs in Geoscience
> Education/Geocognition
>
> Julie:
>
> Yes, this distinction will be important for Arizona State too, since
> we can
> have students do a science-education research PhD in our own school
> or in an
> interdisciplinary program that is partly owned by the College of
> Education
> and partly owned by the Science and Math Schools. We do think these
> people
> will have slightly different career tracks.
>
> Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GEOEDUCATION RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Julie Libarkin
> Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 2:49 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Wyoming: List of MS or PhD programs in Geoscience
> Education/Geocognition
>
> Tim and all:
>
> Tim's email raises a good question about the list of graduate programs
> in geoeducation and geocognition. Should this list include Phd/EdD
> programs in Education, such as Wyoming's, where there might be
> opportunity to focus on the geosciences and collaborate with
> geologists? I know of a couple dozen such programs - I'm thinking we
> should have two lists: one where graduate programs/advisors would be
> either housed in geoscience programs or joint between geoscience and
> education/psychology; and a second where graduate programs/advisors
> would be primarily in colleges of education. These represent two
> different career trajectories, I think...What would be most helpful to
> the community, and particularly to our prospective graduate students?
>
> This is a great opportunity to discuss!
>
> Also, Tim: Do you have a dual track at Wyoming where students can earn
> a degree in Ed or in Geology/Geophysics?
>
> Happy Holidays,
>
> Julie
>
>
>
> On Dec 23, 2008, at 2:41 PM, Tim Slater wrote:
>
>> Dear Julie: Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to compile
>> such a
>> list. We would very much appreciate you including our brand new
>> geocognition Ph.D. program on your list at the University of
>> Wyoming. The
>> program can be done in the College of Education and in a growing
>> number of
>> the Arts&Sciences Departments here at the Universityof Wyoming.
>>
>>
>> University of Wyoming: Tim Slater, Jimm Myers
>>
>>
>> Thanks! Tim Slater, [log in to unmask]
>> University of Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed
>> Professor of
>> Science Education
>> Cognition in Astronomy, Physics, and Earth sciences Research (CAPER)
>> Team
>> http://www.uwyo.edu/caper
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: GEOEDUCATION RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Julie Libarkin
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 3:06 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: List of MS or PhD programs in Geoscience Education/
>> Geocognition
>>
>> All:
>>
>> I am compiling a list of MS or PhD programs in Geoscience Education
>> or
>> Geocognition to post on my website. I have a list, but I am not
>> confident that the list is complete nor entirely accurate. I would
>> appreciate it if you could email me if you have additions or
>> corrections for this list. Some of these programs are housed in
>> geoscience departments, some are housed in education departments, and
>> some are in interdisciplinary institutes. I have not included
>> programs
>> that more broadly target earth/space/astronomy education on this
>> specific list as lists of space/astronomy education programs exist
>> elsewhere. I think the growth of graduate education opportunities in
>> geosci ed/geocog over the past three years is amazing! Well done,
>> everyone!
>>
>> Tentative List of Geoscience Education/Geocognition Programs
>> *List may not be exhaustive
>>
>> MS only
>> Northern Colorado University: Joe Elkins, Steve Anderson
>> Kansas State University: Iris Totten
>>
>> MS or PhD (I think)
>> Michigan State University: Julie Libarkin
>> North Carolina State University: David McConnell
>> Western Michigan University: Heather Petcovic
>> Arizona State University: Steve Semken
>> Purdue University: Eric Riggs, Dan Shepardson
>> University of South Florida: Jeff Ryan, Len Vacher
>> Texas A&M: Bruce Herbert
>> University of Akron: David Steer
>>
>> Take care and Happy Holidays!
>> Julie
>>
>> Julie Libarkin
>> Assistant Professor, Director - Geocognition Research Lab
>> Dept. of Geological Sciences & Division of Science and Math Education
>> Michigan State University
>> 206 Natural Science
>> East Lansing, MI 48824
>> 517-355-8369
>>
>
> Julie Libarkin
> Assistant Professor, Director - Geocognition Research Lab
> Dept. of Geological Sciences & Division of Science and Math Education
> Michigan State University
> 206 Natural Science
> East Lansing, MI 48824
> 517-355-8369
>

Julie Libarkin
Assistant Professor, Director - Geocognition Research Lab
Dept. of Geological Sciences & Division of Science and Math Education
Michigan State University
206 Natural Science
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-355-8369

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