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Using Virtual Fieldwork, EarthScope and Critical Zone Observatories to Nurture Public Understandings of the Most Important Earth System Science Ideas

For the EarthScope National Meeting, Stowe, VT June 16, 2015
by

Don Duggan-Haas

on 25 June 2015

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Transcript of Using Virtual Fieldwork, EarthScope and Critical Zone Observatories to Nurture Public Understandings of the Most Important Earth System Science Ideas

The Next Generation Science Standards
is another reason for hope.
NGSS Innovations as described in the PEEC-Alignment
Virtual & actual fieldwork can help realize NGSS's vision.
In the next
25 minutes, I will:

Suggest some of the reasons why most folks don't understand them; and;
Using Virtual Fieldwork, EarthScope and Critical Zone Observatories to Nurture Public Understandings of the Most Important Earth System Science Ideas
Don Duggan-Haas, PhD, dad55@cornell.edu
Innovation 1: K–12 science education reflects three-dimensional learning.
School programs must change:

From:
providing discrete facts and concepts in science disciplines, with limited application of practice or the interconnected nature of the disciplines. Where crosscutting themes were included, they were implicit and not noticed or used by the student. Assessments within the programs exclusively addressed disciplinary concepts of science; neither the processes, inquiry, or SEPs nor the CCCs, unifying themes, or big ideas were included in the assessments.
To:
providing learning experiences for students that blend multiple SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs — even those SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs not specified within the targeted performance expectations — with the goal that students are actively engaged in scientific processes to develop an understanding of each of the three dimensions. CCCs are included explicitly, and students learn to use them as tools to make sense of phenomena and make connections across disciplines. Assessments within the programs reflect each of the three distinct dimensions of science and their interconnectedness.
Innovation 2: Students engage in explaining phenomena and designing solutions.
School programs must change:

From:
focusing on disconnected topics, with content treated as an end in itself.
To:
focusing on engaging students with meaningful phenomena or problems that can be explained or solved through the application of SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs. Instructional units that focus on students explaining relevant phenomena can provide the motivation students need to become invested in their own learning.
Innovation 3: The NGSS incorporate engineering design and the nature of science as SEPs and CCCs.
School programs must change:
From:
presenting engineering design and the nature of science as supplemental or as disconnected from science learning (e.g., design projects that do not require science knowledge to complete successfully), with neither included in assessments.
To:
incorporating learning experiences that include the DCIs of engineering design as well as the SEPs and CCCs of both engineering and the nature of science, with both included in assessments. Both engineering design and the nature of science are taught in an integrated manner with science disciplines (e.g., design projects require science knowledge in order to develop a good solution; the engineering process contributes to building science knowledge).
Innovation 4. SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs build coherent learning progressions from kindergarten to grade 12.
School programs must change:
From:
a curriculum that lacks coherence in knowledge and experiences; provides repetitive, discrete knowledge that students memorize at each grade level; and often misses essential knowledge that has to be filled at later grade levels.
To:
providing learning experiences for students that develop a coherent progression of knowledge and skills from elementary through high school. The learning experiences focus on a smaller set of disciplinary concepts that build on what has been learned in previous grades and provide the foundation for learning at the next grade span as detailed in the NGSS learning progressions.
Innovation 5. The NGSS connect to English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
School programs must change:
From:
providing siloed science knowledge that students learn in isolation from reading, writing, and arithmetic — the historical “basic” knowledge.
To:
providing science learning experiences for students that explicitly connect to mathematics and ELA learning in meaningful and substantive ways and that provide broad and deep conceptual understanding in all three subject areas.
"Shifting school programs to support the implementation of the NGSS will require many changes. The best response to this challenge would be to design brand new school science programs."
http://www.nextgenscience.org/ngss-peec-alignment
Highlight the most important ideas in Earth system science;
Propose some solutions.
The fundamental structure
of schooling is completely
uninformed by research on how
people learn.
There was no educational equivalent of Charles Darwin who derived a set of natural laws of education and laid them out in
On the Origin of Courses.
Block out of your mind everything you know about school...
Now, imagine that someone suggests...
for years on end.
Let's put 2000 teenagers in a building...
Sort them into groups of 25 or 30
Have someone talk at them...
...about the Battle of Hastings
for 45 minutes
then move down the hall
and have someone else talk at them
for exactly the same amount of time
about rocks
(or whatever)
and,
let's do this over and over and over again
day after day
year after year
Isn't that a great idea?
Hey! I've got a great idea!
NGSS envisions a level of inter-connection amongst grade levels and disciplines that is exceedingly rare in the post-one room schoolhouse era.
NO!
What key ideas should everyone understand about the Earth system?
Seriously, stop and think about it.
And share.
Reasons
for hope
Geoscientists know how to teach in ways that avoids fundamental structural problems of schooling.
Sweeping changes have happened before.
Fieldwork!
Ecologists, geographers and others know something about this too.
We know about past unsuccessful efforts and can learn from them.
Just a few generations ago, there
were 200,000 one room school houses in the US.

Now there are fewer than 400.

Geoscientists know that a few generations is not very long.
http://ejas.revues.org/9205#tocto1n9
http://www.npr.org/series/5178603/america-s-one-room-schools
Grad school!
longterm immersion; lasting mentor-mentee relationships
Innovation 1: K–12 science education reflects three-dimensional learning.
School programs must change:

From:
providing discrete facts and concepts in science disciplines, with limited application of practice or the interconnected nature of the disciplines. Where crosscutting themes were included, they were implicit and not noticed or used by the student. Assessments within the programs exclusively addressed disciplinary concepts of science; neither the processes, inquiry, or SEPs nor the CCCs, unifying themes, or big ideas were included in the assessments.
To:
providing learning experiences for students that blend multiple SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs — even those SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs not specified within the targeted performance expectations — with the goal that students are actively engaged in scientific processes to develop an understanding of each of the three dimensions. CCCs are included explicitly, and students learn to use them as tools to make sense of phenomena and make connections across disciplines. Assessments within the programs reflect each of the three distinct dimensions of science and their interconnectedness.
Innovation 2: Students engage in explaining phenomena and designing solutions.
School programs must change:

From:
focusing on disconnected topics, with content treated as an end in itself.
To:
focusing on engaging students with meaningful phenomena or problems that can be explained or solved through the application of SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs. Instructional units that focus on students explaining relevant phenomena can provide the motivation students need to become invested in their own learning.
Innovation 3: The NGSS incorporate engineering design and the nature of science as SEPs and CCCs.
School programs must change:
From:
presenting engineering design and the nature of science as supplemental or as disconnected from science learning (e.g., design projects that do not require science knowledge to complete successfully), with neither included in assessments.
To:
incorporating learning experiences that include the DCIs of engineering design as well as the SEPs and CCCs of both engineering and the nature of science, with both included in assessments. Both engineering design and the nature of science are taught in an integrated manner with science disciplines (e.g., design projects require science knowledge in order to develop a good solution; the engineering process contributes to building science knowledge).
Innovation 4. SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs build coherent learning progressions from kindergarten to grade 12.
School programs must change:
From:
a curriculum that lacks coherence in knowledge and experiences; provides repetitive, discrete knowledge that students memorize at each grade level; and often misses essential knowledge that has to be filled at later grade levels.
To:
providing learning experiences for students that develop a coherent progression of knowledge and skills from elementary through high school. The learning experiences focus on a smaller set of disciplinary concepts that build on what has been learned in previous grades and provide the foundation for learning at the next grade span as detailed in the NGSS learning progressions.
Innovation 5. The NGSS connect to English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.
School programs must change:
From:
providing siloed science knowledge that students learn in isolation from reading, writing, and arithmetic — the historical “basic” knowledge.
To:
providing science learning experiences for students that explicitly connect to mathematics and ELA learning in meaningful and substantive ways and that provide broad and deep conceptual understanding in all three subject areas.
About the NGSS
http://www.nextgenscience.org
Three Dimensions:
It is more important to understand a few big ideas deeply than it is to know lots of facts.
Scientific and Engineering Practices;
Four Disciplinary Domains:
the physical sciences;
Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs)
Crosscutting Concepts; and;
engineering, technology and applications of science.
the Earth and space sciences; and;
the life sciences;
Big Conceptual Shifts:
Systems thinking is pervasive in the standards.
Three dimensions of equal importance, one of which is (almost) what we think of as traditional school science disciplines.
It takes years of coordinated effort to build deep understanding of big ideas.
A new discipline!
1/3
1/3
1/3
Nice ideas, right?
Why don't folks understand them?
details below.
http://www.nextgenscience.org/ngss-peec-alignment
For all of these questions
How do you know? (What evidence is there?)
What does it tell you about past environments?
What does it imply about the future?
Describe the shape of the land.
What effects has water had on life and the landscape?
What effect has the climate had on the life and landscape?
Describe the ecosystem.
Describe the types and arrangements of rocks and sediment and what they indicate about past environments.
Why does Dinosaur Ridge look the way it does?
Is water depositing material, eroding material, or both?
Is the action of water primarily chemical, primarily physical, or both chemical and physical?
Was the past climate different?
What factors may have been affected or caused by climate?
Why do living things in the environment look the way they do?
How do living things shape the environment?
See embedded questions.
How have plants shaped the landscape?
How have animals generally, and humans in particular, changed the landscape?
On what scale?
See also ecosystem graphic organizer.
For all of these questions
How do you know? (What evidence is there?)
What does it tell you about past environments?
What does it imply about the future?
Describe how life shapes the land.
What are the pioneer plants?
How do pioneer plants impact soil formation?
How are animals shaping the land?
Are there invasive species? If yes, what are they and how are they changing the ecosystem?
Have disturbances played a role in the introduction of invasives? If yes, describe.
How are new invasives likely to change the ecosystem over then next century?
Describe the role of water in the ecosystem.
In what ways does water serve or disturb habitats?
How does life move, use and store water?
How has climate shaped the ecosystem?
See also the geoscience graphic organizer.
Describe the role rocks and soil play in the ecosystem.
Describe the types and arrangements of plants and animals and what they indicate about present and past environments.
How does life change the rocks and soil at the site?
How is life dependent upon the rocks and soil at the site?
Does the rock record include evidence of ancient disturbances? If yes, describe.
Why do living things in the environment look the way they do?
What life forms were the earliest to arrive?
Describe how different life forms are distributed throughout the field site.
What is the impact of invasive species and other disturbances?
See also: Describe how life shapes the land.
Plants
How have plants shaped the landscape?
How has the landscape shaped plants?
Animals
How do animals contribute to plant distribution?
Other
What invasive species are currently present
How will incoming invasives shape this ecosystem over the next 100 years?
Why does Dinosaur Ridge look the way it does?
What effects have humans had on the ecosystem?
What resources do humans use from here?
How have humans changed the landscape?
On what scale?
What effects has life, including human life, had on the landscape?
Are there mountains, valleys, or hills?
What are the valley shapes?
What can form valleys?
What can cause mountains or hills to form?
Are the mountains or hills young or old?
What role do tectonics play in shaping the site?
How is the climate reflected by living things at the site?
Describe any microclimates and how they affect life.
Describe how sun and shadow affect life.
What is the role of fire, hurricanes or other climate-related disturbances in shaping this landscape?
Do the rocks seem to form a sequence?
Where would you find the oldest rocks? Youngest rocks?
Does the rock record include evidence of ancient disturbances? If yes, describe.
Are there different kinds of rocks at different outcrops?
Sediments & Sedimentary Rocks
Is it clastic or organic/chemical?
If clastic, what is the grain size?
If organic, what minerals is it made out of?
Are there fossils or sedimentary structures?
Metamorphic
Is it foliated or non-foliated?
What was the parent rock?
Igneous
Did the rock form above or below ground?
Is it felsic or mafic?
See the Gigapan here: http://gigapan.com/gigapans/145144
This is a screen capture of a Gigapan - a very high resolution image of Dinosaur Ridge. Click the link below the picture to see the full resolution image.
This image is more indicative of prehistoric than modern water.
This picture was taken just below Dinosaur Ridge.
This picture was taken just below Dinosaur Ridge.
Modern
Ancient Life
Looking down on the city of Denver from Dinosaur Ridge
http://gigapan.com/gigapans/128736
Click the link at bottom of image to see in very high resolution.
This image contains four layers. Zoom in for more detail of the trace fossils.
The car key is included to show scale.
Note:
√ Change modern analogous ripple marks photo.
Add link to Lon's book, noting that the free preview is for this area.

√ And add photo for the modern role of water at Dino Ridge. That might be the conglomerate at our last stop. http://bit.ly/GreenMountainConglomerate
Modern analog (from Google Image search)
These are asymmetrical, so use this pic paired with a different set of ripple marks.
Look for higher res sign picture...
Formatting was lost in embedding the graphic organizer.
See the original: http://bit.ly/DinoRidge

See Steve's Presentation.
What are Virtual Fieldwork Experiences?
Multimedia representations of field sites designed to promote meaningful, inquiry-based exploration;
Question driven:
Why does this place look the way it does?
Scaffolding for fieldwork;
Proxies for fieldwork;
Catalysts for fieldwork;
PD that leaves a trail;
VFEs document fieldwork in a way that facilitates future analysis, and the sharing of the experience with others.
Newly expanded and revised!
Question Sets for Earth & Environmental Science
Phrased in such a way that they can be asked of any site;
Editable, so they can be customized to the specifics of your site.
A still growing set of VFEs
Visit virtualfieldwork.org; click the database link.
Selected Resources for VFEs
Resonant with the Maker Movement;
http://geology.teacherfriendlyguide.org/index.php/fieldwork-mw
What do VFEs have to do with EarthScope and Critical Zone Observatories?
Across a vast range of scale, what happens underground matters.
CZOs and EarthScope are deepening our understandings of what happens below.
Most HS students get no more than a few weeks of plate tectonics and seismology instruction.
The preceding slides adapted from:
ON THE NEED FOR NEW WAYS TO NURTURE UNDERSTANDING
Presented at the 2009
Northeast Regional meeting of the Geological Society of America
Pittsburgh, PA
https://prezi.com/marqsv-5rwla/on-the-need-for-new-ways-to-nurture-understanding/
This recognizes that jet planes aren't modified canal boats.
Closing thought:
Neither great science nor great science standards by themselves will substantially change education.
And now for something completely different.
Virtual Fieldwork
is deployable across a range of educational settings;
can help you share your science;
can be enriched by your science;and;
is no panacea.
http://virtualfieldwork.org/
http://bit.ly/VFEtools2014
http://bit.ly/VFETemplate
Links referenced in this presentation:
Note that links will open in new tabs.
Exit full screen view to see new tabs.

This presentation: http://bit.ly/DDH-EarthScope2015
EarthScope: http://www.earthscope.org/
The Critical Zone Observatory Network: http://criticalzone.org
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): http://www.nextgenscience.org and, http://www.nextgenscience.org/ngss-peec-alignment
At http://teacherfriendlyguide.org:
Chapter on "Real and Virtual Fieldwork:" http://geology.teacherfriendlyguide.org/index.php/fieldwork-mw
Appendix: The Teacher-Friendly Guides™, Virtual Fieldwork, and the NGSS’s Three-Dimensional Science: http://geology.teacherfriendlyguide.org/index.php/appendix-mw
At http://virtualfieldwork.org:
Earth Science Bigger Ideas: http://virtualfieldwork.org/Big_Ideas.html
The VFE Database: http://virtualfieldwork.org/A_VFE_Database.html
The Dinosaur Ridge VFE: http://bit.ly/DinoRidge
Mapping Earth Systems: http://bit.ly/MappingESystems
Tools for Making Virtual Fieldwork Experiences: Resources from the ReaL Earth Inquiry Project: http://bit.ly/VFEtools2014
Virtual Fieldwork Template: http://bit.ly/VFETemplate
http://bit.ly/MappingESystems
A few other links and more information may also be found where you see this symbol (click on it to zoom in):
"And now for something completely different" is a Monty Python reference.
Full transcript