Inquiry plus Place-based learning: teaching earth science using local environments

Teacher development programs that inform teachers about how Connecticut sites and local natural history can be applied to State Science Standards.





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Teacher development programs
Contact: Nancy,
(203) 767-6509
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Applicable to State Standards for: Rocks & Minerals (3.3), The Changing Earth (7.3), Plate Tectonics (HSE); Living Things (K.2), Food Chains (4.2), Matter & Energy in Ecosystems (6.2), Ecosystems (6.2), Ecology (HSE); Heredity & Evolution (10.5), Evolution (HSE).

Inquiry-based science has proven to be a highly effective approach to science education.  Add to it aspects of place-based education and teachers will discover a powerful new tool for making earth science education engaging, compelling and memorable.

Presented by author Brendan Hanrahan, these teacher development program shows how essential concepts of fields of earth science can be brought to life when taught in the contexts of significant local sites.  Connecticut environs provide extraordinary opportunities to explore subjects such as geology, ecology, evolution, and to bridge from local inquiries to broader, global phenomena and occurrences.

The program describes how local contexts present many opportunities to explore, inquire, communicate, hypothesize and critique, processes essential to inquiry-based approaches.

Based on a recent multi-state study that found that place-based education effectively integrates multiple disciplines, improves performance on standard measures, increases involvement and sense of ownership, and reduces or eliminates behavioral problems.

Photos by Robert Craig