Masters Thesis

An endemic flower journal

The literature states that most elementary science education in the United States takes place in the classroom in a highly abstract format. Science is usually taught to elementary students using textbooks and worksheets, with some generalized and controlled experimentation. These experiments typically serve to demonstrate a concept, rather than to provide any genuine exploration. Although this traditional approach has been in use for the better part of this country’s educational history, literature indicates that there is a more effective way to teach science to elementary age students. Chapter Four of this project contains a curriculum designed for use with seventh grade students involved with the botany block of their biology year. It is designed around extensive use of the experiential education model (Kolb, 1984). This includes a process of experimentation, experience, reflection, and feedback. This curriculum is an all-inclusive approach to building a book that identifies many of the wildflowers endemic to the students’ locale. They build the book, identify the flowers, log information about them, and compile all their data into a finished report that is encased in a hard binding. This curriculum addresses California State content standards in the areas of biology, English, and visual arts. It also fosters skills in working in small groups, fieldwork, effective communication skills, and the ability to compile raw information gathered in the field into a concise and complete final project.