Article Title

A Case for Geology

Document Type



Geology suffers from two enduring stereotypes. The first stereotype is that geology is "about rocks and minerals," period. It is true that the materials, the configurations of matter, studied in geology are largely rocks and minerals, but the study of geology goes much further than this simple intention. It has a lot more to say about the world in which we live than just a study of earth materials. The second stereotype concerns the reasons one should study geology. Many persons, including not a few professional geologists, regard geology's role in society as limited to the finding and producing of raw materials to feed the economic system. This is a vitally important role for geology to play, and it is one which provides employment for many geologists, but the purposes of geology transcend its economic utility. If the purpose of teaching geology were only to include the study of a larger array of natural objects (rocks and minerals and such) or to provide vocational training for those engaged in resource-gathering, the case for the subject would be much weaker. Geology, however, provides insights and intellectual experiences unique to this field of science. Why should we study the earth? Why should we teach about the Earth?

Publication Date

Autumn 1987

Journal Title

Iowa Science Teachers Journal





First Page


Last Page



© Copyright 1987 by the Iowa Academy of Science



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