Teaching mineralogy from the core to the crust

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Mineralogy is commonly the first difficult geology course that a student major encounters. To provide a solid foundation and context for learning mineralogy, and, in an effort to enhance retention of information and facilitate learning, the 'typical' sequence in our mineralogy course is restructured using the whole Earth as a reference framework. This method provides a context in which to teach the materials that comprise our Planet. Beginning with the Earth's core, simple native elements are introduced, followed by minerals with increasing complexity as discussion moves outward to the Earth s crust. Key theoretical concepts are seamlessly interwoven into discussions of various portions of the Earth, rather than being considered initially in a separate section. This flexible framework allows individual courses to be tailored to the needs of the department while maintaining a strong tie to geology and establishing links to societally-relevant issues.

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Journal of Geoscience Education

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