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Open Inquiry-Based Science Learning in an International Field-Course: Students as Research Scientists and Global Citizens Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Open Inquiry-Based Science Learning in an International Field-Course: Students as Research Scientists and Global Citizens Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Open Inquiry-Based Science Learning in an International Field-Course: Students as Research Scientists and Global Citizens Jacqueline S. McLaughlin, Ph.D. Kathy Fadigan, Ed.D.

2 Dr. Jacqueline S. McLaughlin Associate Professor of Biology Penn State Lehigh Valley Cell and Developmental Biologist – Ph.D. from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Founding Director of the international Connecting Humans And Nature through Conservation Experiences (CHANCE) environmental education and professional development program. whose overarching goal is to educate K- 12 science teachers and students, and undergraduate and graduate students in conservation biology and global environmental sustainability through scientific inquiry. Research interests: International programming and assessment Teaching and learning with technology The use of open-ended inquiry in science education

3 Dr. Kathleen Fadigan Assistant Professor of Science Education Penn State University, Abington College Program Coordinator – Childhood & Early Adolescent Education Degree - Ed.D. from Temple University, Curriculum, Instruction, & Technology in Education: Mathematics & Science. Research Associate of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis. Research interests: Informal science education Gender equity in STEM Science fairs

4 Objectives for Presentation 1) Present Penn State CHANCE Program - students and teachers travel the world-either physically or virtually-to carry out real-world research on some of the world's most troubling environmental issues. 2) Overview Penn State CHANCE Panama program. 3) Highlight pilot research data that supports the use of field research (higher-end inquiry) and exploration as a means to enhance student understanding of, and engagement in, environmental science and global environmental sustainability.

5 The world’s ecosystems are in trouble. Why CHANCE?

6 Habitat Destruction Invasive Species Pollution Human Population Explosion Overharvesting Global Warming HIPPO + G Edward O. Wilson

7 What is CHANCE? CHANCE (Connecting Humans And Nature through Conservation Experiences) is an environmental education and professional development program whose overarching goal is educate K-12 science teachers and students, and undergraduate and graduate students, in conservation biology and global environmental sustainability through scientific inquiry (RESEARCH).

8 What is CHANCE? Through international field courses and on-line research modules participants engage in higher-level inquiry-based research opportunities and conservation efforts that allow them to better understand some of the world’s most troubling environmental issues.

9 Biology 497 Global Environmental Sustainability A Field Study in China (May14-31, 2011)

10 What are the CHANCE Modules? The CHANCE modules are a set of on-line, environmentally themed, learning tools that utilize authentic research data. Targeted toward high school science students, each module features a student-as- researcher approach through student manipulation of a data set contributed by scientists who are currently investigating the topic.

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12 CHANCE engages with the world, interacting with local, national, and global organizations, institutions, corporations and communities in productive relationships and research activities, all in the name of educational outreach and global environmental sustainability. Professors & Teachers Researchers College Graduates High School Students Universities Educational Organizations Government Organizations Corporations Non-Government Organizations Relationships

13 CHANCE Website

14 Just the Facts? Introductory Undergraduate Biology Courses Focus on Low-Level Cognitive Skills Jennifer L. Momsen, Tammy M. Long, Sara A. Wyse, and Diane Ebert-May Department of Plant Biology and Center for Integrative Studies in Biology, Michigan State University Figure 1. Assessment items and syllabi goals binned by cognitive (Bloom’s) level. Level 1: comprehension; 2: understanding; 3: application; 4: analysis; 5: synthesis; 6: evaluation. Frequencies show faculty set course goals that target higher cognitive processes and assess lower cognitive processes

15 A Revolution is Underway! Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action This document was the culmination of three years of work by the AAAS and NSF, in conjunction with hundreds of biology educators, administrators and students nationwide to gather information about how to bring biology education into the 21 st century. Vision and Change In Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action. American Association for the Advancement of Science/National Science Foundation,

16 Vision and Change: Core Competencies Students should have the ability to: apply the process of science employ quantitative reasoning utilize modeling and simulation tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science communicate and collaborate with other disciplines understand relationships between science and society Vision and Change In Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action. American Association for the Advancement of Science/National Science Foundation,

17 How do we improve student learning of environmental science while mobilizing students to think about societal and environmental challenges? CHANCE Panama interventions: Pre-trip assignments: CHANCE research modules Field research activities with real scientists Ecosystem expoloration

18 Biology 297/497 Global Climate Change – Sustainability of Select Tropical and Aquatic Ecosystems with A Practicum in Panama (July 6-22, 2012)

19 Student Research Presentations Foraging Behaviors of Ants in the Disturbed Jungle Floor The Effects of Temperature on Birds in Gamboa, Panama A Comparison on Conductance and Transpiration between Tropical Evergreen Deciduous Trees Leaf Stomata Density in Psychotria marginata in Relation to Varying CO 2 Concentrations and Light Conditions in Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama

20 Aim To assess how an international field course influenced participants’ understanding of, and engagement in, authentic science practices, as well as their understanding of and engagement in global environmental stewardship.

21 Question 1 In what ways do CHANCE participants see themselves as capable of conducting authentic science? Difference btw “real scientists” and students Time & Resources Prior knowledge The value of critical review Realization that “I could actually be a scientist”

22 Question 2 In what ways did participants increase their engagement in global environmental stewardship activities as a result of completing the CHANCE field course? Energy usage Waste reduction and recycling Education Internships and government conservation programs

23 Richard Louv on the Sense of Wonder

24 Thank you! Visit CHANCE online:


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