Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Place Matters! Fostering place-based geoscience teaching at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Daniela Bottjer-Wilson, Barbara C Bruno

Last modified: 25-06-2019


Drawing on the importance of place has been shown to be a powerful tool in education.  This paper explores place-based teaching (PBT) in geoscience courses at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, where faculty and student demographics sharply differ.  Despite these differences, survey results from geoscience faculty (n=59) and students (n=83) revealed a strong consensus: 78% of students and 83% of faculty reported that PBT is an important and effective practice to reach all students.  Most faculty (91%) indicated that they currently incorporate at least some PBT practices in their geoscience classes and would like to incorporate additional ones in the future.  However, many faculty expressed concern about lack of knowledge or resources, particularly regarding PBT strategies that require a high level of cultural competency.  We therefore propose a three-layered PBT framework, where faculty can start with more accessible PBT strategies (the base layer) and progress upwards as their cultural competency deepens.  Through providing geoscience resources and professional development opportunities, we can empower faculty to include more diverse and culturally meaningful practices as their experience and knowledge deepens.

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