A Survey Of Attempted Solutions To Problems In College Geoscience Education

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Science Teaching


Larry E. Schafer


Science education, Budget, Technical Writing Skills, Non-Science Students

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


This study examines how geoscience departments deal with budget-related problems, attempt to improve the technical writing skills of geoscience majors, and teach the geosciences to non-science students. A mail survey questionnaire was sent to the heads of geoscience departments to obtain data concerning the methods used in the departments to deal with the study issues, the methods considered most helpful, and the factors that help or hinder efforts to deal with the issues. The data obtained from the mail survey are presented in tables in an appendix. The main findings are: (1) The three most frequently cited issues facing geoscience education in general are a poor job market and an oversupply of geologists, public ignorance and poor attitude concerning the geosciences, and the need for more funding. The three most frequently cited issues facing geoscience departments are the need for adequate funding, attracting students, and a poor job market for graduates. (2) Respondents indicated that increasing efforts to obtain grants and gifts are the most helpful methods of maintaining or enhancing teaching resources. The most helpful tie with industry cited is the unSurface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance. cash grant. Personal contacts and contacts with alumni are the most highly rated helpful factors related to ties with industry. Cuts in the use of costly laboratory materials was rated as the most helpful of the budget reduction measures identified in the survey. (3) One-third of the respondents indicated that graduates of their undergraduate geoscience programs are not adequate technical writers. Not one respondent, however, cited technical writing skills as a major issue facing geoscience education or geoscience departments. In-course writing assignments and a technical writing course taught by another department are rated as the most effective methods of improving student technical writing. (4) Almost two-thirds of the respondents feel that their programs to teach non-science students are successful. When teaching non-science students, faculty place more emphasis on geoscience concepts and content than they do on emphasizing the practical aspects of the role of the geosciences in society.


Surface provides description only. Full text is available to ProQuest subscribers. Ask your Librarian for assistance.