New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Reaching Beyond Skills to Cognitive Development in Teaching Quantitative Thinking with MATLAB- Current Generation of Geology Students Learning Programming

Afsoon Moatari-Kazerouni, Rhodes University (South Africa)

Abstract

Addressing challenges of strengthening quantitative thinking in Geoscience requires planning in curriculum and pedagogy and expectations of what students should come out of such a curriculum with. This is especially so in teaching quantitative methods as multiple aspects need to meet: scientific concepts, logic of problems, and computational syntax and structures. Students at all levels and backgrounds in Geoscience program and research could benefit by using other kinds of software which benefit from the ability to conceptualize a computational problem and built a solid foundation with underlying logic in MATLAB. What have come to find important is the need to see beyond particular skills for composing the syntax to solve a particular problem to understanding logical steps and structure needed to solve a computational problem or model a concept. Recognizing the latter can improve the chances of skill transference to other problems and fill educational gaps in quantitative cognitive development that go far beyond building isolated skills.

Keywords: Matlab software, Geology, computational syntax, cognitive development;

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