Geoscience is not just about knowledge and skills, it is about how to use the knowledge and skills and skills to solve problems.  After more than 30+ years experience as a consultant geologist and the experience gained from teaching geosciences to the petroleum industry since 2006, Greg has come to the conclusion that many geoscientists lack critical thinking skills more than they lack conventional technical knowledge and skills, which have been the focus of training in the past.  It is for this reason that Greg has created a practical workshop to teach Critical Thinking in Geoscience.  This course is integrated with the GeoLumina software system, which is a knowledge management and competence development system that has been designed to help us become better critical thinkers.  The experience of the Critical Thinking has spawned a radical new way of teaching geoscience, which teaches the technical content and how to use it critically through Enquiry-Based Geoscience Courses.

For further details of the above, see the links below.

For more details check out the articles below.

3. Course Content

This third intro video provides more details on the content of the course, and expands on the focus of each chapter, and the specific skills that will be covered in chapters 4 and 5. Please let Greg know in the comments if there is anything else you think should be in the course ... Read More

2. Course Outline

This short video provides a summary of the course content and an overview of the skills that we will be covering. The course will establish what critical thinking is, key cognitive biases in Earth Sciences, strategies for debiasing, the skills that critical thinkers need and finally how to manage the development of those skills. Please let Greg know what you think in the comments. Many thanks! ... Read More

1. Background and Rationale

The first introductory video for the Critical Thinking in Earth Science course, which is coming soon. This video introduces Greg and explains how he came to be teaching Critical Thinking in Earth Sciences. Let Greg know what you think in the comments ... Read More

Critical Thinking Resources – Kevin de Laplante

Kevin deLaplante Greg has been working with Kevin deLaplante for several years. Kevin has produced more than 25 hours of videos and numerous articles and podcasts on all aspects of critical thinking, which you are encouraged to explore. Materials can be found on the Critical Thinker Academy website, on Kevin's youtube channel and on Kevin's webpage. For those who want to actively develop their critical thinking and argumentation skills, we urge you to join the Argument Ninja Dojo. This is a community that is exploring the concept of teaching and learning critical thinking, logical argumentation and rational persuasion as a martial art: a series of practical skills that can be readily taught and practiced in a virtual martial arts dojo. Check it out at Argument Ninja Dojo There are many videos which are of immediate interest to geoscientists, starting with the initial foray in to scientific reasoning: Vocabulary of Science - The first steps to science literacy. ... Read More

Enquiry-Based Learning

The conventional way of teaching technical courses is to teach people what to think and how to do something, then give them an exercise to test their newly acquired skill. After many years of teaching technical courses, Greg has learned that he learns most while he is researching the course materials, creating the exercises and teaching the course.  None of the trainees get a chance to do this.  They just get presented with a manual and follow instructions. So why not teach the trainees how to think and learn how to do their own research, gather their own ideas, organise them in a logical and memorable way, then use their newly acquired knowledge and skills to solve real problems.  This is called enquiry-based learning. The proposed 5 day workshop would focus on one chosen discipline.  The options offered by Greg are:
  • Clastic and Carbonate Sedimentology and Reservoir Geology
  • Sequence and Seismic Stratigraphy
  • Formation Evaluation / Petrophysics / Wireline Log Interpretation
Having chosen the theme of the workshop, the workshop will run as follows: Day 1: Session1: Critical Thinking - An Introduction to the fundamentals of critical thinking and critical thinking skills, as outlined in the Critical Thinking for ... Read More

Critical Thinking in Geoscience – A 5 Day Workshop

What is Critical Thinking? We hear so much these days about the need for more “Critical Thinking”.  But what is critical thinking?  Critical thinking is many things, but this definition from Wikipedia captures the essence: "The process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analysing, synthesizing and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion” This is what we want our Geoscience interpreters to be doing in the workplace. We could also define critical thinking in terms of the following:
  • True vs False - Can you prove that your conclusions are true or false?
  • Rational Vs Irrational - are your beliefs rational or irrational?
  • Thinking for Yourself - Are you thinking for yourself and using your own reasoning skills?
Why Critical Thinking? Greg has been teaching a wide range of geoscience-based disciplines to industry for 13 years, from plate tectonics to pore analysis, including geology, geophysics, petrophysics and reservoir engineering.  In that time, it has become apparent that we focus too much on teaching people “What to Think” and not enough time teaching people “How to Think”.  This is a legacy of the education systems that concentrate on “teaching to the exam”, which tends to focus on “remembering”.  If ... Read More
Tell your friends!