Rocks for Jocks: Preconceptions about the Earth

John E. DeLaughter,
Seth Stein (Both at: Dept. of Geological Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL)
Carol Stein (Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL)
Kenneth R. Bain (Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL)

This site contains data relating to a paper published in the August 25, 1998, issue of Eos.


Assessment of the success of any educational technology requires analysis of what students know bother before and after a course. Studies have shown that many students enter introductory physics courses with misconceptions which are often unchanged reguardless of teaching method. To see whether such misconceptions are commonly held by introductory geology students, we gave an "earth science literacy" test to 149 students at the University of Illinois at Chicago taking an introductory geology course.

This test will be refined to better understand students' geological preconceptions and to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching methods.

The results of the test

Related Links

  • A PostScript version of this page
  • The Eos article
  • Our geophysics concepts demonstration page
  • To Seth Stein's home page
  • To John DeLaughter's home page
    This site was selected as the Virtual Geoscience Professor's Site of the Fortnight for October 5, 1998.
    This page designed by John DeLaughter
    Update: 09 Feb 1998