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Exploring Physical Geography 2nd Edition



Exploring Physical Geography 2nd Edition

Author: Stephen Reynolds, Rohli Professor, Robert V

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education

Genres:

Publish Date: February 1, 2017

ISBN-10: 1259542432

Pages: 696

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

TELLING THE STORY . . .

WE WROTE EXPLORING PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY so that students could learn from the book on their own, freeing up instructors to teach the class in any way they want. I (Steve Reynolds) first identified the need for this type of book while I was a National Association of Geoscience Teachers’ (NAGT) distinguished speaker. As part of my NAGT activities, I traveled around the country conducting workshops on how to infuse active learning and scientific inquiry into introductory college science courses, including those with upwards of 200 students. In the first part of the workshop, I asked the faculty participants to list the main goals of an introductory science course, especially for nonmajors.

At every school I visited, the main goals were similar to those listed below:
∙ to engage students in the process of scientific inquiry so that they learn what science is and how it is conducted,
∙ to teach students how to observe and interpret landscapes and other aspects of their physical environment,
∙ to enable students to learn and apply important concepts of science,
∙ to help students understand the relevance of science to their lives, and
∙ to enable students to use their new knowledge, skills, and ways of thinking to become more informed citizens.

I then asked faculty members to rank these goals and estimate how much time they spent on each goal in class. At this point, many instructors recognized that their activities in class were not consistent with their own goals. Most instructors were spending nearly all of class time teaching content. Although this was one of their main goals, it commonly was not their top goal.

Next, I asked instructors to think about why their activities were not consistent with their goals. Inevitably, the answer was that most instructors spend nearly all of class time covering content because (1) textbooks  include so much material that students have difficulty distinguishing what is important from what is not, (2) instructors needed to lecture so that students would know what is important, and (3) many students have difficulty learning independently from the textbook.

In most cases, textbooks drive the curriculum, so my coauthors and I decided that we should write a textbook that (1) contains only important material, (2) indicates clearly to the student what is important and what they need to know, and (3) is designed and written in such a way that students can learn from the book on their own. This type of book would give instructors freedom to teach in a way that is more consistent with their goals, including using local examples to illustrate geographic concepts and their relevance. Instructors would also be able to spend more class time teaching students to observe and interpret landscapes, atmospheric phenomena, and ecosystems, and to participate in the process of scientific inquiry, which represents the top goal for many instructors.

COGNITIVE AND SCIENCEEDUCATION RESEARCH

To design a book that supports instructor goals, we delved into cognitive and science-education research, especially research on how our brains process different types of information, what obstacles limit student learning from textbooks, and how students use visuals versus text while studying. We also conducted our own research on how students interact with textbooks, what students see when they observe photographs showing landscape features, and how they interpret different types of scientific illustrations, including maps, cross sections, and block diagrams that illustrate the evolution of environments. Exploring Physical Geography is the result of our literature search and of our own science-education research. As you examine Exploring Physical Geography, you will notice that it is stylistically different from most other textbooks, which will likely elicit a few questions

Exploring Physical Geography promotes inquiry and science as an active process. It encourages student curiosity and aims to activate existing student knowledge by posing the title of every two-page spread and every subsection as a question. In addition, questions are dispersed throughout the book. Integrated into the book are opportunities for students to observe patterns, features, and examples before the underlying concepts are explained. That is, we employ a learning-cycle approach where student exploration precedes the introduction of geographic terms and the application of knowledge to a new situation. For example, chapter 12 on slope stability, pictured above, begins with a three-dimensional image of northern Venezuela and asks readers to observe where people are living in this area and what natural processes might have formed these sites. Wherever possible, we introduce terms after students have an opportunity to observe the feature or concept that is being named. This approach is consistent with several educational philosophies, including a learning cycle and just-in-time teaching. Research on learning cycles shows that students are more likely to retain a term if they already have a mental image of the thing being named (Lawson, 2003). For example, this book presents students with maps showing the spatial distribution of earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain ranges and asks them to observe the patterns and think about what might be causing the patterns. Only then does the textbook introduce the concept of tectonic plates.

Also, the figure-based approach in this book allows terms to be introduced in their context rather than as a definition that is detached from a visual representation of the term. We introduce new terms in italics rather than in boldface, because boldfaced terms on a textbook page cause students to immediately focus mostly on the terms, rather than build an understanding of the concepts. The book includes a glossary for those students who wish to look up the definition of a term to refresh their memory. To expand comprehension of the definition, each entry in the glossary references the pages where the term is defined in the context of a figure.

BRIEF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1: THE NATURE OF PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY…………………2
CHAPTER 2: ENERGY AND MATTER IN THE ATMOSPHERE………… 34
CHAPTER 3: ATMOSPHERIC MOTION…………………………………………. 74
CHAPTER 4: ATMOSPHERIC MOISTURE…………………………………….108
CHAPTER 5: WEATHER SYSTEMS AND SEVERE WEATHER……….142
CHAPTER 6: ATMOSPHERE-OCEAN-CRYOSPHERE
INTERACTIONS………………………………………………………180
CHAPTER 7: CLIMATES AROUND THE WORLD………………………….212
CHAPTER 8: WATER RESOURCES………………………………………………246
CHAPTER 9: UNDERSTANDING LANDSCAPES…………………………..272
CHAPTER 10: PLATE TECTONICS AND REGIONAL FEATURES…….306
CHAPTER 11: VOLCANOES, DEFORMATION,
AND EARTHQUAKES……………………………………………..344
CHAPTER 12: WEATHERING AND MASS WASTING……………………..384
CHAPTER 13: STREAMS AND FLOODING…………………………………….416
CHAPTER 14: GLACIERS AND GLACIAL LANDFORMS…………………452
CHAPTER 15: COASTS AND CHANGING SEA LEVELS………………….476
CHAPTER 16: SOILS…………………………………………………………………….502
CHAPTER 17: ECOSYSTEMS AND BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES…..534
CHAPTER 18: BIOMES………………………………………………………………….564


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