Students' Geocognition of Deep Time, Conceptualized in an Informal Educational Setting

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					Students' Geocognition of Deep Time, Conceptualized in an Informal Educationa...
Renee M Clary; Robert F Brzuszek; James H
				
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Description: Students in a Landscape Architecture Design 1 course (N = 25) at a research university in the southern US developed design solutions implementing geologic time for an informal education site. Those students who employed abstract metaphors for their designs (n = 8) were more successful than students who proceeded with a linear design construct. Pre- and posttest assessments using the Petrified Wood Survey and student-constructed timelines suggested that 1) 75% geoscience content knowledge is needed for successful design, and 2) relative understanding of Earth events and the barrenness of early Earth's landscape is also prerequisite for successful design implementation. Most revealing of students' cognitive processes were the concept statements and concept maps produced during the project. The concept statement forced students to address the project's requirements, take a position with their concept development of abstract metaphorical representation, and proceed with a final design solution. It appears that concept statements with accompanying concept maps facilitate student cognition by forcing student comprehension and application of geoscience content knowledge. We suggest that an inclusion of concept statements when teaching application of a complex Earth system or process may facilitate students' geoscience cognition in design and/or informal educational settings. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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