Enhancement of Geology Content Knowledge Through Field-Based Instruction for Pre-Service Elementary Teachers Academic Article uri icon


  • This study measures the effect that field-based instruction has on student learning of earth science content knowledge related to sedimentary rocks for college students intending to be pre-service elementary teachers. A total of 36 students from 2 semesters of a specialized earth science course for pre-service teachers participated in a mixed-methods study. The students received the same 3 day inquiry-based classroom curriculum and field trip preparation, but 3 variations of the field trip were administered. The first field trip was a guided-inquiry, hands-on exploration where students were actively involved in directing their learning, the second field trip was a lecture-based field trip where the instructor directed the student learning, the third was an immersive, inquiry-based virtual field trip presented in Quicktime VR. The quantitative findings indicate that all field trips produced gains in understanding beyond those produced by the classroom curriculum, and that this increase in learning came about regardless of the type of field trip the students experienced. Interviews and other qualitative analysis reveal that students who participated in the guided-inquiry, physical field trip did emerge with a deeper understanding of the conceptual ideas compared with other field trip styles.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Geoscience Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Tretinjak, C. A., & Riggs, E. M.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Tretinjak, Christina A||Riggs, Eric M

publication date

  • January 2008