Science Learning & Education

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The world is changing and future scientists must be well prepared to work with a broad range of scales, cross-disciplinary problems, and diverse settings.Research on how students learn science is improving the preparation of our students and ensuring greater success in their pursuit of a geoscience degree. Our research on science education is widely recognized for developing new and better ways to teach science concepts and skills so that students learn more effectively.Washington Monthly has identified University of Texas at El Paso as #7 in their annual ranking of U.S. colleges and universities, and #1 for enabling upward mobility of our students. Our vision is to be on the cutting edge of this and world renowned for our expertise in science education and for producing high quality students with a 21st century demographic. Our mission is to target key research areas that are being shown to improve student recruitment, retention, and graduation rates; develop first-rate research portfolios in these areas; and test our findings in real classes and outreach activities. These areas include K-16 pathways to success, minority education through travel and learning science, collaborative and networked learning, and broadening participation.

We are developing new methods for student engagement and retention in earth science classes, including research on what works in science education and how can it be incorporated in any size classroom. Problem-based learning, collaborative and networked learning, and team-based learning are emerging approaches that have demonstrated efficacy for teaching science, including in multi-disciplinary settings. Our research builds on and extends what is known about science education. New technologies, online and blended learning environments, problem-based and collaborative learning – the field of learning sciences is rapidly innovating. Our research areas together with new curricula will position us as leaders in developing and testing new approaches to science learning.