Teaching geologic events to understand geologic time

Ilyse Resnick, Kinnari Atit, Thomas F. Shipley

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cervato and Frodeman (this volume) have presented the difficulty students in the geosciences have assimilating the magnitude of geologic time and reasoning about the frequence and rate of geologically and environmentally important events. Our hypothesis is that difficulty learning the science of temporally extended events arises in part from a disconnect between how humans perceive, remember, and reason about things that happen over time and science's conception of time as a single metric dimension. Here, we briefly review some psychological research and discuss the implications for geoscience pedagogy. The key idea is that humans think in terms of events, not the interval scale of linear time; this is adaptive, and aligning education with psychology should reduce both student and teacher frustration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth and Mind II
Subtitle of host publicationA Synthesis of Research on Thinking and Learning in the Geosciences
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
ISSN (Print)0072-1077


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