Anne Marie Untalan, Michael Becker, and Ashley Sprouse, developers of the HRMS Outdoor Classroom Project.
CLEARING: What have been the most difficult issues in getting this project started?
Michael Becker: One of the Permaculture Design Method principles is to start small, and I highly advocate for starting with small projects that you can have initial success with. Trying to get space is often a hurdle, and if you can show that you have managed a small space efficiently and generated student interest and outcomes you’re more likely to be able to expand. It’s important to have a sense of where you’d like to go in the future but be focused on what you can do today. (more…)
Preparing Teachers for Environmental Education
by Louise Conn Fleming
Abstract: Our teacher education team at our university teaches the junior year methods and assessment to preservice middle grades teachers. Starting Spring 2003 we began using “The Projects” as part of methods instruction. In this paper I will review what educators say about how middle grades students should be taught, why environmental education meets those criteria, explain our program, and share our results.
Most adults in the U.S. have grown up out of touch with the environment, and it appears that the generation in schools today is growing up that way as well. The middle grades, grades four or five to eight or nine, are a time when children are beginning to see themselves as they relate to their world at large. This is a crucial time to focus their attention on how their actions have an impact on other inhabitants of our planet. However, most middle grades teachers, having grown up without experiences in nature, lack both the understanding and enjoyment of the environment and the knowledge of why or how to teach about it. (more…)
Engaging students in the marine sciences
by Susie Vanderburg
enny Ross, a N.A.M.E. teacher at Strawberry Vale Elementary in Victoria, BC, shared with us a creative and challenging way to engage students in the marine sciences. When Lenny was a middle school teacher, he developed a partnership with The Rowing Center, a waterfront business on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Rowing
Center staff and Lenny created a unique opportunity for local 6th and 7th graders by offering a teacher workshop along with a one-day field trip to explore marine ecology and learn the art of rowing. The workshop’s resources included Gloria Snively’s curriculum guide, “Salish Sea: A Handbook for Educators.” The workshop provided a springboard for teachers to develop and teach units in marine science, preparing students for the field trip.