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Teaching Through Investigative Case Studies: Lessons from Invertebrate Paleontology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2017

Tamra A. Schiappa*
Department of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057 USA
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Students in traditional invertebrate paleontology courses typically are required to identify, sketch morphologic features, and memorize chronostratigraphic ranges of major fossil taxa. This traditional approach is viewed as mundane and unnecessary by many students. Integrating new learning strategies involving specific case studies into an invertebrate paleontology course creates a dynamic learning environment. This improves students' observational and critical-thinking skills as well as their understanding of the utility of the fossil record and key geologic concepts. New teaching strategies, such as investigative case studies, provide students with opportunities to develop good deductive reasoning and metacognitive skills. Strengthening these types of skills, which include comprehension, the ability to problem-solve, and the analysis and interpretation of data, will prepare students to be more successful as scientists.

Research Article
Copyright © 2012 by The Paleontological Society 

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