Graduate Study in the GRL
Michigan State University: MS/PhD, Julie Libarkin
Graduate students in the Geocognition Research Lab can earn an MS or PhD in Geological Sciences through cutting-edge research that blurs the boundaries between cognitive science, education and geoscience, including investigation of working memory (NSF-0815930 abstract), novice-expert conceptions (NSF-0837185 abstract), and assessment instrument development (NSF-0717790 abstract). Potential coursework in geoscience, education, psychology, political science and other areas offers opportunities to build multidisciplinary expertise. Learn how about our two areas of research: geocognition and geoscience education research
We encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, through specialization certification or joint graduate training with the:
- Environmental Science & Policy Program
- Cognitive Sciences Program
- Certification in Teaching College Science and Mathematics
Contact Julie Libarkin for more information.
Graduate Programs in Discipline-Based Education Research in Other Fields
BIOSCIENCE: A list of Biology Education Research graduate programs can be found at:
CHEMISTRY: A list of Chemical Education Research graduate programs can be found at: http://www.users.muohio.edu/bretzsl/GradPrograms.html
Alphabetical List of Graduate Programs in Geocognition and Geoscience Education Research
Programs Housed in Colleges of Science
Arizona State University: MS/PhD, Steve Semken, Steve Reynolds
Graduate students in Geoscience Education at ASU benefit from a long-standing and productive collaboration among research faculty and students in its internationally respected:
- School of Earth and Space Exploration
- Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education
- College of Teacher Education and Leadership
- Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (CRESMET).
The geologically, culturally, and historically rich Southwest offers a superb setting for studies of formal and informal teaching and learning, and ASU graduates the most STEM teachers of any university in the region. Current active research areas include role of figures and animations in earth-science learning, place-based and cross-cultural geoscience learning, spatial visualization, informal learning in National Parks, concept sketches for learning and assessment, and strategic Earth science teacher preparation.
Michigan State University: MS/PhD, Julie Libarkin
Graduate students in the Geocognition Research Lab can earn an MS or PhD in Geological Sciences through cutting-edge research that blurs the boundaries between cognitive science, education and geoscience, including investigation of working memory (NSF-0815930 abstract), novice-expert conceptions (NSF-0837185 abstract), and assessment instrument development (NSF-0717790 abstract). Potential coursework in geoscience, education, psychology, political science and other areas offers opportunities to build multidisciplinary expertise. Contact Julie Libarkin for more information.
Mississippi State University: MS/PhD, Renee Clary, Brenda Kirkland
The Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University offers both a MS in Geosciences and a PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, with one possible concentration in Geoscience Education. The department is very broad, offering multiple research opportunities in the geoscience subdisciplines of Geology, Meteorology, GIS, and Geography. Geoscience education research focuses on geoscience learning in traditional, online, and informal educational environments. Four faculty members specialize in Geoscience education research: Renee Clary, Brenda Kirkland, Karen McNeal, and Kathy Sherman-Morris. Active geoscience education research within the department includes programs investigating effective teaching strategies, history and philosophy of science in geoscience teaching, geocognition and understanding of complex earth systems, and geoscience visualization strategies. Applications for MS, PhD, and postdoctoral levels in geoscience education are welcomed.
North Carolina State University: MS/PhD, David McConnell and Karen McNeal
Geoscience education research in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (MEAS) is part of the North Carolina State University discipline-based teaching and learning initiative. MEAS offers both MS and PhD degrees with a focus on geoscience education research in a variety of topics including: 1. The connection between the affective domain and learning outcomes in the geoscience curriculum (NSF-0817286 abstract); 2. Critical thinking for civic thinking in science through student analysis of real-world scenarios (NSF-0633660 abstract); 3. Investigation of transfer with cooperative assessment exercises and cooperative testing; 4. Tracing the novice-expert continuum from new freshmen to tenured faculty; and, 5. Assessing the impact of classroom interventions on learning in large lecture and lab settings.
Northern Colorado University: MA, Steven Anderson, Joe Elkins
The Earth Sciences department at Northern Colorado University offer both a B.S. and M.A. degree in Earth Sciences. Students have the option of studying in one of four emphasis areas: Environmental Science, Geology, Meteorology, and Secondary Education.
Western Michigan University
Graduate students in geoscience education at WMU can earn a degree through The Mallinson Institute for Science Education (MISE) in collaboration with the Department of Geosciences. The MA program is designed for inservice teachers and can be completed largely through online coursework. The doctoral program has several tracks focusing on (1) college science teaching, (2) discipline-specific research and teaching, and (3) K-12 curriculum and instruction. We also offer a concurrent enrollment program (Masters in science discipline/ PhD Science Education). MISE is a nationally top-ranked program with 10 faculty and 15-20 full-time doctoral students. Research in geoscience/ earth science education focuses on geocognition; specifically, toward understanding the knowledge and skills that geoscientists use when working on complex, field-based problems. We study geoscientists engaged in field work across the spectrum from beginning students (novices) to professionals (experts), in order to determine how geological knowledge develops through training and practice. We are also interested in the preparation and development of K-12 earth science teachers, with an emphasis on field experiences and alternative conceptions.
Western Washington University: MS, Scott Linneman
Research focuses on teacher-scientist partnerships, field-based learning and the role of technology in geoscience instruction (NSF-0837820 abstract). MS program requires solid earth geoscience graduate coursework and science education research methodology and theory in collaboration with WWU’s Woodring College of Education.
Programs Housed in Colleges of Education
Arizona State University
See description in Colleges of Science list, above.
Purdue University: MS/PhD, Dan Shepardson, Jerry Krockover
Research focused on teaching and learning in K-12 settings and in teacher education. Programs are focused primarily on in-service teacher education and in environmental science education for pre- and in-service teachers, and K-12 students. Coursework includes the full range of Curriculum and Instruction core coursework coupled with offerings from the College of Science and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences through the science education research group and the Center for Research and Engagement in Science and Mathematics Education.
University of Northern Iowa: MA, Chad Heinzel, Cherin Lee, Kyle Gray
The science education department at the University of Northern Iowa offers a Master of Arts in Science Education with an emphasis in earth science education. Research interests include incorporating educational technologies such as GIS and personal response systems (clickers) into earth science courses as well as investigating ways to improve geocognition in undergraduate and K-12 students.
University of Wyoming: MS/PhD, Tim Slater
The research agenda of the Cognition in Astronomy, Physics and Earth sciences Research (CAPER) Team is shaped by the framework of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and reflects an intellectualization of what makes learning geoscience topics easy or difficult, how this changes with the pre-conceptions and spatial reasoning skills that learners carry with them, and how best to equip teachers and faculty to teach effectively geoscience.