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Nature education in and out of the classroom: teacher resources for the Bay to Dunes field trip program

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Title: Nature education in and out of the classroom: teacher resources for the Bay to Dunes field trip program
Author: Fortner, Suzanne M.
Abstract: Through this project, I developed and compiled teacher resources to supplement the Bay to Dunes field trip program coordinated by Friends of the Dunes in Manila, California. Bay to Dunes is an all-day field trip where 3rd -6th graders learn about the ecology and history of the Humboldt Bay and coastal dunes through exploration and educational games. Research shows that positive experiences in nature, such as those provided through this field trip, play an important role in child development and the learning process. Yet teachers face many obstacles when providing students with outdoor learning experiences due to federal policies that promote a standardized education confined to the classroom. Because of these constraints, teachers should use this program to its fullest potential by integrating the concepts into their curriculum. Prior to this project little was known about how teachers build on the field trip, and few resources existed to help them do so. To inform the content of this project, I conducted a focus group with local teachers who participate in the Bay to Dunes program. Taking this input into account, I developed resources for teachers to expand on the field trip through localized and experiential learning. The materials include online resources available through the Friends of the Dunes website, and a curriculum box of hands-on learning materials available through the Humboldt Educational Resource Center. These resources expand on concepts presented during the field trip, and are consistent with place-based education practices. This project promotes localized learning while emphasizing real world experiences, subject integration, community involvement, and application of knowledge.
Description: Project (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Social Science: Environment and Community, 2010
Date: 2010-05

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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