How explicit is the cognitive science foundation of geoscience education research? A study of syntactical units in JGE articles

Resource category: 
Articles and Special Issues
Arthurs, L. (2018). How explicit is the cognitive science foundation of geoscience education research? A study of syntactical units in JGE articles, Journal of Geoscience Education, 66(1), 77-91. DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2018.1411710
Resource URL: 

The National Research Council’s report, Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering (Singer, Nielsen, & Schweingruber, 2012), states that discipline-based education research (DBER), such as geoscience education research (GER), is informed by research about cognition and learning. It also states that how different disciplines ground their DBER in existing cognitive theories of learning varies. The aim of this study is to take a first step toward systematically evaluating the degree to which research on undergraduate geoscience education published in the Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE) is informed by cognitive science concepts and grounded in cognitive learning theories. This study’s theoretical framework draws on a linguistic theory of representation and a general cognitive theory of learning. The methodology of a systematic literature review was used to examine 1,760 articles published in JGE from 1985 to 2016. Of these articles, 167 articles met the selection criteria (undergraduate geoscience education research) for further appraisal. The results of this study suggest that undergraduate geoscience education scholars (a) have an ongoing interest in cognition-related research topics, (b) have an overall low degree of fluency or familiarity with cognitive science concepts, and (c) can further future GER studies in cognitive learning theories. Recommendations based on this study’s findings include independently learning more about cognition, developing partnerships or collaborations with those more knowledgeable about cognitive concepts and theories, and supporting one another in the GER community to increase fluency with cognitive science concepts and increasingly incorporate theoretical frameworks into future GER studies.

Tags:

This page last updated 17 May 2019 - 2:11pm