Dear North-Central Colleagues,


We are excited to offer four sessions devoted to geoscience education and education research at the upcoming North-Central GSA Section meeting to be held May 2-3, 2013 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Section meetings are an exceptional opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with local colleagues and potential collaborators, and for students to present their work in a low-key setting. Abstracts are due Feb 5, 2013. For additional information, contact one of the session sponsors below, or see



I hope to see you in Kalamazoo!




T11. Working With Pre-Service Teachers—Issues and Ideas. Kyle Gray, University of Northern Iowa, [log in to unmask]; Anthony Feig, Central Michigan University, [log in to unmask].


Many college and university-based Earth scientists interact with pre-service teachers on a regular basis. Regardless of whether they are pre-K, elementary, or secondary education majors, many of our students have received little or no exposure to Earth science topics before attending our courses. As a result, they often enter our classrooms afraid of teaching Earth science. Such barriers to teaching pose a challenge to Earth science faculty, and can be addressed through a variety of creative pedagogies and theoretical frameworks. This session is intended for anyone who teaches pre-service teachers in any capacity including (but not limited to) content courses and methods courses. We welcome any presentations that discuss new lesson ideas, research regarding pre-service populations, theoretical approaches to teacher training, or strategies for improving K-12 Earth science education in general.


T12. Research in Earth Science Education (Sponsored by Central NAGT). Heather Petcovic, Western Michigan University, [log in to unmask]; Sandra Rutherford, University of Wisconsin, [log in to unmask].


What do we know about how people think, feel, perceive, and understand about the earth?  This session will share research on the teaching and learning of earth science in classroom, laboratory, field, and informal settings. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies describing cognitive and affective factors that impact learning as well as studies of specific curricula, pedagogy, or interventions will be highlighted.


T13. Innovative Earth Science Teacher Professional Development. Mark Klawiter, Michigan Technological University, [log in to unmask]; Carol Engelmann; Emily Gochis; Erika Vye; Heather Petcovic; Stephen Mattox.


Quality geoscience Professional Development (PD) experiences that address the needs of the participating teachers will improve teaching and learning in K-12 Earth Science classrooms and promote student interest in geoscience careers. This topical session will present innovative methods of PD for teachers in the classroom and in the field.   This session invites presentations that highlight programs or workshops offering high quality PD opportunities in the geosciences, and presentations from teacher participants in these opportunities.


T14. Teaching and Learning Earth Science: K–16 Educational Pedagogy (sponsored by NC NAGT). Katie Johnson, Eastern Illinois University, [log in to unmask]; Stephen Mattox, Grand Valley State University, [log in to unmask].


This theme session encourages abstract submissions from K-16 educators who would like to share insights into teaching and or learning of earth science content.  The goal for this session is to attract presentations showcasing a myriad of activities using diverse instructional strategies.  As educators, many of us search for interesting and effective activities that will help our students to learn better and more efficiently.  We also welcome abstracts from researchers offering insights into cognition and processing of earth science information that will help us to teach more effectively. 




Dr. Heather Petcovic

Western Michigan University

Dept. of Geosciences and

The Mallinson Institute for Science Education

1903 W. Michigan Ave

Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5241

PH. 269-387-5488 (office)

PH. 269-387-5380 (research)