Project

Connecting to science and community: a middle grade environmental studies curriculum incorporating service learning and inquiry

Project (M.A., Education (Curriculum and Instruction)) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2009.

Students live in a world that is filled with science but they are not connected to
 it. They spend most of their time indoors and lack opportunities to explore and make
 connections to the natural world. As a science teacher I am always surprised when my
 students don't know something as simple as the phases of the moon or the sound of a
 frogs croak in the evening. This lack of fundamental knowledge gives students a
 disadvantage in learning scientific concepts and ultimately harms our society. My
 project will help students see science in action and make connections to their
 environment by providing real-life experiences that get them involved in their
 community. The Review of Literature examines the following areas: teaching science,
 environmental science, outdoor education and the California and national science standards. The review of literature also includes research based teaching methods used
 in science including: inquiry, constructivism, experiential learning, and service
 learning. Sources of data used were professional journals, books, websites, and
 newspaper articles. Middle school students lack opportunities to experience their natural
 environment and therefore struggle to learn scientific concepts. This project will
 provide hands-on activities for middle school students in an environmental science
 curriculum and a service learning guide for teachers to use in implementing service
 learning.

Students live in a world that is filled with science but they are not connected to it. They spend most of their time indoors and lack opportunities to explore and make connections to the natural world. As a science teacher I am always surprised when my students don't know something as simple as the phases of the moon or the sound of a frogs croak in the evening. This lack of fundamental knowledge gives students a disadvantage in learning scientific concepts and ultimately harms our society. My project will help students see science in action and make connections to their environment by providing real-life experiences that get them involved in their community. The Review of Literature examines the following areas: teaching science, environmental science, outdoor education and the California and national science standards. The review of literature also includes research based teaching methods used in science including: inquiry, constructivism, experiential learning, and service learning. Sources of data used were professional journals, books, websites, and newspaper articles. Middle school students lack opportunities to experience their natural environment and therefore struggle to learn scientific concepts. This project will provide hands-on activities for middle school students in an environmental science curriculum and a service learning guide for teachers to use in implementing service learning.

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