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  1. Whether to engage student preconceptions to facilitate conceptual change is an area of debate among conceptual change theorists. Here, we evaluate the efficacy of a preconceptions-based instructional sequence about groundwater previously described by (Arthurs, 2019). To assess the impact this instructional sequence had on facilitating the development of more expert-like mental models about groundwater among college students, this research is rooted in the design study methodology and framed within the knowledge integration perspective of conceptual change. The relation of the instructional sequence to conceptual change is investigated in terms of cognitive, temporal, and social considerations. Students’ responses to items in in-class activities, homework, exams, and pre- and post-course surveys; the instructor’s lesson plans and notes; and classroom observations provide evidence of the preconceptions-based instructional sequence’s impact. We conclude the sequence has a significant positive impact on facilitating conceptual change for a range of student demographics, including gender and race.
  2. Discipline-based education research (DBER) conducted by faculty within geoscience departments can address identified needs in undergraduate geoscience education.This study explores the evolution of undergraduate geoscience education research (GER) from 1985 to 2016, primarily in terms of the types of published research and secondarily in terms of the insights this literature offers on the evolution of GER as a scholarly discipline. Stokes’(1997) quadrant model of research types is used as a theoretical framework for the former and Kuhn's (1970) model of disciplinary paradigm for the latter. An exploratory sequential mixed-methods approach to a systematic literature review of 1,760 articles is utilized. The period1985–2000 is characterized by proto-research as evidenced by the abundance of instructive and informational education articles rather than research articles. From 2000to 2011, GER underwent a growth period characterized by the presence of applied, use-inspired, and pure basic research. The period 2011–2016 appears to be a period of relative steady-state conditions in the normalized number of GER publications per year. Existing gaps in knowledge about geoscience education, the evident unfamiliarity with education and social science research methodologies among authors of GER articles, and efforts to build consensus about what GER is and how to conduct it suggest that GERmore »is preparadigmatic or at a low paradigm state.« less