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Best Practices in Environmental Education Fields Trips CURRICULAR INTEGRATION, PREPARATION, AND FOLLOW-UP Kathleen Floberg Colloquium Presentation November.

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practices in Environmental Education Fields Trips CURRICULAR INTEGRATION, PREPARATION, AND FOLLOW-UP Kathleen Floberg Colloquium Presentation November."— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practices in Environmental Education Fields Trips CURRICULAR INTEGRATION, PREPARATION, AND FOLLOW-UP Kathleen Floberg Colloquium Presentation November 25 th, 2014 MEEd Candidate University of Minnesota, Duluth

2 Outline Personal Background Purpose Research Questions Definitions Literature Review Methodology Discussion Google, 2014

3 Personal Background Family Camping Trips YMCA Camp Widjiwagan & Camp Manito-wish YMCA Camper Wilderness Trip Leader Instructor-Naturalist Assistant Director Carleton College BA in Biology UMD MEEd! Black, 2014 Floberg, 1994

4 Purpose The purpose of this study is to describe: ◦The preparation and follow-up MN teachers conduct before and after an extended field trip to a residential environmental learning center (RELC) ◦How such trips are connected to formal curriculum ◦What kind of support and/or resources RELCs provide teachers to help facilitate field trip curricular integration, preparation, and follow-up

5 Significance Research on this topic has been more focused on single-day field trips to museums, zoos, aquarium, nature centers, etc., with few addressing extended field trips to RELCs Research shows that more comprehensive preparation and follow-up leads to a better learning experience.

6 Research Questions ◦How do teachers connect outdoor learning experiences at RELC’s with the formal classroom curriculum through preparation and follow-up activities? ◦How do RELC’s support the integration of the field trip into formal education? ◦What do teachers perceive as being needed to better support curricular integration and their preparation and follow-up efforts for an extended field trip to an environmental learning center?

7 Definitions FORMAL EDUCATION Education that takes place in a planned way at a recognized institution. The learning environment is pre-arranged, attendance is compulsory, and assessment is included and/or expected. NON-FORMAL EDUCATION Education that takes place in a planned but highly adaptable way at a non- school institution. The learning environment is pre-arranged, attendance is voluntary, and assessment is not expected. Tamir, 1991

8 Definitions FIELD TRIP A type of experiential learning undertaken for educational purposes where a group of students leave the traditional formal classroom setting and go somewhere where the materials for instruction may be observed and studied directly in an authentic setting (Krepel & Duvall, 1981). RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER A residential environmental learning center has been defined as being a professionally staffed, full-time, year-round facility which offers hands- on, outdoor-based environmental education (EE) over an extended visit (SEEK, 2014).

9 Literature Review Go my children, burn your books. Buy yourself stout shoes; get away to the mountains, the deserts, and the deepest recesses of the earth. Mark well the distinction between animals, the differences among plants, the various kinds of mineral. In this way, and no other, will one gain knowledge of things, and of their properties (Severinus, 1571).

10 Benefits of field trips ◦Experiential learning and authentic experiences ◦Hands-on, action-based activities have positive effects on memory of an experience ◦Increase students’ environmental literacy, ecological knowledge, and positively affects their attitudes towards the environment (Dettmann-Easler & Pease, 1999; Dillon et al., 2006 ; Farmer, Knapp, & Benton, 2007; Gilbertson, 1990; Knapp & Poff, 2001; Nadelson & Jordan, 2012 Rickinson et al., 2004)

11 Brain Based Learning People are holistic learners ◦Cognitive, affective, and kinesthetic domains ◦Attention, emotion, and movement enhance memory and learning 12 Principles of BBL (Caine & Caine, 1990) ◦Principle Three: The Search for Meaning is Innate ◦Principle Five: Emotions Are Critical to Patterning ◦Principle Ten: The Brain Understands and Remembers Best When Facts and Skills Are Embedded in Natural Spatial Memory (Caine & Caine, 1990; Davidson & Carber, 2009; Duman, 2010; Glisczinski, 2011)

12 Learning Theories CONSTRUCTIVISM ◦Knowledge is constructed through experience ◦Prior knowledge and preconceptions influence future learning ◦Experiences must have personal meaning to be educative (Bodner, 1986; Dewey, 1938; Lisowski & Disinger, 1991) Jean Piaget, Google, 2014

13 Learning Theories SUBSUMPTION THEORY “If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle I would say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly” (Ausubel, 1968, p. vi) David Ausubel’s equation for meaningful learning A + a = A’a’

14 Novelty Berlyne (1960) ◦Novelty is one of the main stimuli that will elicit curiosity ◦Novelty enhances motivation to learn “In a novel or curious situation, a learner is desirous to minimize or reduce the amount of uncertainty thereby increasing motivation to learn” (Hurd, 1997, p. 30) The presence of new, unfamiliar, or relatively rare stimuli against a background of familiar events in the child’s perceptual history (Alberti & Witryol, 1994, p. 130)

15 Novel Field Trip Phenomenon “Most educators who work in outdoor education settings are familiar with the disoriented, uneasy feelings displayed by some children visiting the site for the first time; feelings that even after a reasonable lapse of time persist and are expressed by uncharacteristically active, excited, and explorative behaviors.” (Falk et. at., 1978)

16 Model depicting learning and off-task behavior as a function of setting novelty A= 5 th grade at school B= 3 rd grade at school C= 5 th grade at nature center D= 3 rd grade at nature center (Falk & Balling, 1982, p. 27)

17 Model for the Development and Implementation of Field Trips as an Integral Part of the Science Curriculum (Orion, 1993) THREE PHASES OF A FIELD TRIP Preparatory Unit ◦Decrease novelty Field Trip ◦Process-oriented learning ◦Direct experience Summary Unit ◦Abstract concepts (Orion, 1993, p. 329)

18 Model for the Development and Implementation of Field Trips as an Integral Part of the Science Curriculum ( Orion, 1993) DECREASE NOVELTY SPACE Cognitive ◦Activities and simulations Psychological ◦Outline the experience Geographical ◦Maps and pictures (Orion, 1993, p. 326)

19 Integrated Experience Model Storksdieck (2006)

20 FiNE Framework (Morag & Tal, 2012) Morag & Tal, 2012, p. 753

21 FiNE Framework: Preparation Phase (Morag & Tal, 2012) Morag & Tal, 2012, p. 753

22 FiNE Framework: Pedagogy Phase (Morag & Tal, 2012) Morag & Tal, 2012, p. 754

23 FiNE Framework: Activity Phase (Morag & Tal, 2012) Morag & Tal, 2012, p. 754

24 FiNE Framework: Outcomes Phase (Morag & Tal, 2012) Morag & Tal, 2012, p. 755

25 Morag & Tal, 2012, p. 758

26 Empirical Evidence for the Benefits of Preparation and Follow-up ◦Learning performance affected by the degree to which the novelty space had been reduced ◦Follow-up activities reinforced concepts presented during a field trip ◦Influence of post-visit activities on subsequent learning and knowledge construction (Anderson et al., 2000; Farmer & Wott, 1995; Orion & Hofstein, 1994)

27 Disparities Between Pedagogical Beliefs and Field Trip Practice ◦Primary factor teachers considered when planning and implementing a field trip: how the experience relates to the formal curriculum ◦90% of responding teachers considered connectedness to classroom curriculum as the primary motivation for conducing field trips, but only 23% of respondents from the same study identified connections to classroom curriculum as an indicator of a successful field trip (Anderson & Zang, 2003; Anderson et al., 2006; Kisiel, 2005; DeWitt & Osborne, 2007; DeWitt & Storksdieck, 2008))

28 Barriers to Field Trip Curricular Integration, Preparation, and Follow-up ◦Time ◦Inherent disconnect exists between formal and non- formal learning environments ◦Lack of formal training in field trip pedagogy ◦Many interpretations and degrees of curricular connection ◦Universal (Anderson et al., 2006; Carrier, 2009; DeWitt & Storksfieck, 2008; Eshach, 2007; Griffin, 2004; Kisiel, 2005; Leatherbury, 2011; Rebar, 2012; Rickinson et al., 2004; Tal et al., 2014)

29 Research Questions ◦How do teachers connect outdoor learning experiences at RELC’s with the formal classroom curriculum through preparation and follow-up activities? ◦How do RELC’s support the integration of the field trip into formal education? ◦What do teachers perceive as being needed to better support curricular integration and their preparation and follow-up efforts for an extended field trip to an environmental learning center?

30 Methodology Research Design ◦Survey research – Quantitative data collected electronically Population and sample ◦MN teachers who bring students to RELCs ◦RELC program/education directors Instrument ◦Electronic survey Data Analysis ◦Frequencies & descriptive statistics ◦Comparative? (private v. public; grade levels; subjects)

31 Thank you! My advisor: Ken Gilbertson My committee: Kevin Zak and Bruce Munson My colleagues

32 Discussion Please share your thoughts and thank you for listening!


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