Finding the Connections Between Place Based Education and Teaching Science

By SARAH HAINES

“At the beginning of the experience, using place-based lessons was very confusing to me and I had a very hard time creating lessons. However, through practice, I have learned how effective it is to have students answer inquiry questions and use scientific reasoning.” — pre-service teacher participant

As a science education professor at a university that is known for its teacher preparation program, my students often complete part of their coursework requirements in local schools. Since my personal interests lie in the areas of environmental education and place-based education, I emphasize these concepts in my courses whenever I can. As I approached another semester of teaching a science practicum course to elementary pre-service teachers, I began to ponder the following questions:

1. To what extent do novice teachers’ ideas and attitudes towards nature and environmental education change as a result of participating in place-based education? OR What changes, if any, occur in novice teachers’ ideas and attitudes about nature and environmental education as a result of participating in place-based education.

2. Which aspects of the place-based educational experience, if any, were reported by novice teachers as most influential in shaping their ideas about nature and environmental education?

These questions led to the partnership I’ve described in this article.

The Project

My project included novice teachers who were completing a science teaching internship, and 3rd and 4th grade students enrolled at a local elementary school. Our idea was to tie into some of the exiting curricular movements within our state; namely, the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) and the Governor’s Explore and Restore Your Stream Initiative. Being located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, we decided to have the central focus of the science content that the interns would teach be aquatic/watershed related. In doing so, we were able to incorporate outdoor education and teaching techniques, the requirements of all Maryland schools to integrate a MWEE into their curriculum each year, the Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards, and the Governor’s Explore & Restore Your Stream Initiative.

The vision of this project is to foster environmental literacy by having students take responsibility for the stream closest to their property, exploring and restoring their “school-shed,” so to speak. Environmental education teaching materials are provided through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The aim is to expand stream study and restoration projects in Maryland schools, with students conducting investigations both in the classroom and, in particular, outdoors. The rationale for this focus is that engaging students in their local environment is part of a rigorous process that helps our youngest citizens become stewards of their environment, improves skills in several educational disciplines, and prepares them for 21st Century jobs. MSDE and partnering environmental agencies and organizations (in this case, our university) provide help for teachers to engage their students in stream study and action projects. Teachers will take their students outdoors three times during the school year to determine stream health, share their data using online mapping and data analysis tools, and culminate in an action project to help improve their stream over time.

When the partnership was in the design phase, the author and the faculty of the elementary school brainstormed what we thought would be appropriate goals for the internship and professional development sessions. What do novice teachers need to learn about place-based teaching, and how can we include these elements in the program? The following is what we decided to include within the program:

What Novice Teachers Need to Learn

Understanding and application of science-specific and place-based specific learning theory

· Children’s thinking, ideas, and scientific discussion

· History of place-based education

Good science implementation/teaching methods:

· Learning cycle/5E lesson structure

· Inquiry teaching

· Role of the teacher: listener, facilitator, clarifier

Exposure to science standards: Local, state, and/or national, with special attention to the Maryland state environmental literacy standards and NGSS. Practice listening, eliciting, and responding to children’s scientific reasoning, experience, and ideas

· As related to specific content units, in general Science teaching practice.

· Implementing activities as written with as much time as possible beforehand becoming familiar with curriculum content and activities.

· Critique and adaptation of place-based science activities

· Creating place-based science activities

· Assessment

· Beginning to implement classroom management strategies.

Self-reflection and improvement

· Trying different things in teaching, obtaining feedback from mentor teacher and 376 instructor, reflecting on feedback, modification of teaching during subsequent teaching sessions

Teachers’ Narrative Stories — Growth and Experiences

The interns participating in the pilot program were required to write weekly narratives based on their experiences learning the content and teaching the content to their elementary level students. These narratives allowed for the tracking of certain themes that emerged in their writing over the course of the 12 week internship. The following are excerpts that demonstrate some of the prevailing themes that developed.

First four weeks: During the first third of the experience, novice teachers seem to be concentrating on adjusting to proper teaching methods and management techniques. Many narratives mentioned things that interns wanted to improve upon:

1. Difficulty with specific elements of teaching science: “Learning about and teaching science has been challenging so far, but I am also learning a lot. I am learning a lot about myself as a teacher, and more specifically as a teacher of science. I am learning that I really need to be educated about the material I am teaching so I am able to respond to students’ questions with confidence. I am also learning more about the 5E lesson plan format and that I need to make it flow better so it doesn’t seem like there is a lot of jumping around. I am learning that teaching science is completely different than teaching reading and writing, and that it is more evidence based and students must give a great deal of reasoning. Finally, I think I am developing as a science teacher and I just need to remember to get the students to dig and come up with reasoning that supports what they were previously exploring and I think I will be successful.” [AB]

2. Wait time: “During our feedback time, we discussed allowing additional wait time for students when asking them questions. I think I was guilty of asking questions and calling on the first student I saw with their hand raised. I’m going to try asking questions and giving the class five to ten seconds to think things over before calling on volunteers. I hadn’t really ever considered this but I believe it will help challenge them to think critically and not just go with the first thing that pops in their mind.” [GS]

“I think I can improve on my use of wait time when I am teaching. I have found that when I get up in front of the class, it suddenly dawns on me how much pressure there is for me to be able to communicate and teach clearly and effectively, and I begin to get nervous. In this nervousness and anxiety, I forget about the nuances of teaching that make lessons more meaningful and run more smoothly, such as wait time. When I ask a question, I think I just impulsively call on one of the first hands I see.” [MN]

3. Classroom management: “I’ve also noticed how difficult, but important, time management is. Our group is still working together to ensure the entire lesson gets completed on time, without rushing through certain activities.” [LB]

“We made a mistake in passing out the materials for that activity while the directions were still being given. In the future we need to be sure, in every lesson that we teach, to give the directions out completely and make sure the students know exactly what they are supposed to be doing before passing out the materials.” [AC]

“A strategy I hope to employ in the next lesson is to be clearer when giving directions to the students and ensure they understand what is expected of them before setting them loose.”[ST]

“Maintaining students’ behavior did not go well for this lesson. Teachers had a hard time managing students’ behavior and keeping them on task. When learning outside, students tend to get very excited and as a result, it becomes hard to keep them focused on the lesson. It’s good for students to get excited for learning, but it’s very important to make sure that students complete all tasks too. Teachers tried their best to maintain students’ behavior, but failed to succeed.” [KW]

“When we were doing the chemical tests, students were very distracted by the various materials. They constantly picked up the test tubes, tablets, cards, and played with the water. I tried my best to control the students, but it was very difficult to do and I was unsuccessful. I should have been prepared with a classroom management technique that would have allowed me to be more successful in keeping the students under control.” [KB]

Mid 4 weeks: In the second third of the course, the interns are starting to think more about how the place-based lessons are impacting student learning. The narratives delve more deeply into the nuances of the lesson, and how the intern might improve his/her teaching to make the lesson an even better learning experience for the students. They are also seeing the positive effects of teaching using a place-based model

1. Scientific Questioning: “The next modification I would have made to my teaching is I didn’t ask students any guiding questions. Asking questions is always a great thing to do as a teacher because it helps students to come to a deeper understanding of what they are observing. I had them do their observations and we continued on. I should have inquired students to consider why there was so much algae in the stream or why we didn’t see any animals. Those could have potentially teachable moments and I missed them. This goes back to the skill of producing questions based off of students’ curiosity, which is a skill I am skill developing.” [TG]

“I need to be more patient in waiting for responses to higher-level thinking questions during the Exploration. During the explore section, each teacher took a small group of students and acted as their personal “guide” as we explored the rotting logs. I know that I personally could have been more patient with giving out information to students. I tried my best to ask deeper thinking questions, but I think I could have been more patient when waiting for student responses. If the students weren’t giving me the answer I was looking for after the first couple of answers, I went straight into the correct explanation. I think I just got very excited to tell the students what was happening on the logs and would end up explaining the concepts to them before they really had a chance to process what they were observing. In retrospect, I should have asked these questions and then given the students more time to really think through their answers (this goes back to wait time as well) and not settle for mediocre answers that could be much better if the students were given more time to process and explore.” [MN]

2. Scientific Methods: “I would have hoped for the students to write out, or at the very least consciously think about their own hypotheses for the health of the stream. Hopefully, they would pull on the fact that the stream is located near a well-developed urban/suburban area where pollution is often prevalent, and would be able to come up with a hypothesis. Then, they would be able to immediately test their hypothesis through the exploration and explanation. While this is a simple change, I think it would be beneficial for the students for a number of reasons. It is important that the students recognize that the investigations they are conducting are scientific ones. I want the students to identify as scientists. I believe having the students write, or at least intentionally think about their predictions would reinforce their perception of themselves as scientists testing an idea. I also think it would help them to feel a stronger purpose for the investigation. While we focused on the inquiry question when we gave them a purpose for investigating, which I think was a great way to go, I think we could also have them think about whether their hypothesis is supported or not. And, assuming that some students would predict the stream would be unhealthy, many of them would have been in for a surprise to see that many aspects of their stream showed that it was of a good quality. This would help them to see that it is possible for urban/suburban areas to sustain healthy streams! “ [MN]

3. Value of Teaching Outdoors: “There should always be opportunities for the students to explore in a hands on manner. The stream is the perfect place to do such things, but I think I could have used it to a fuller potential. Good science teachers want their students to feel comfortable in nature. Good science teachers encourage students to get their hands dirty and explore different environments. This promotes a love of and connection with nature, one that Richard Louv would certainly encourage for a multitude of reasons. A deep connection with nature, Louv argues, increases the cognitive functions and overall well-being of children. It also gives them a greater sense of responsibility for their local environment and increases the chances that children will enact positive change in favor of these environments, ultimately resulting in conservation of our natural habitats. This type of in depth observation also inspires children to identify as scientists and real investigators, a goal that all science teachers have for their students.” [TG]

“I am learning how to effectively incorporate nature into my science teaching. According to Richard Louv, students’ should be emerged into nature when learning science because it allows students’ to have a hands-on experience and it improves their overall health. I will make sure to include nature into my science lessons when teaching so that my students will learn as scientists do and be appreciative of nature.” [KW]

Final four weeks: Narratives are indicative that interns are much more confident in their abilities to teach place-based science. Self-efficacy has grown. Interns mention the effect that this teaching strategy has had on the students and also recognize that they have grown as teachers as a result of the experiences they have had teaching the place-based unit.

1. Sense of success through teaching outdoors: “The students were extremely engaged in this lesson. I heard multiple children talking about how excited they were and how much they loved the stream. I even heard some students groan when we were going back inside because they “wanted to stay down by the stream forever!” This level of engagement was so refreshing and really heightened the success of the lesson. “ [MN]

“This lesson has allowed me to try new things as a teacher since I haven’t had much experience with teaching lessons while outside. I felt really confident when I was with the students by the stream and I felt like I had really good control over the students.” [SR]

“I had a wonderful teacher moment when a student said to me ‘I learned that FUN can be with learning’. Comments like that keep me going! “ [KF]

“I found that the students really enjoyed this lesson. One student even came up to me and said, “I wish you guys came every day!” This really showed that the students are passionate about what they are learning. By taking the students outside and having them act as real scientists the information becomes very meaningful to them. They almost forget they’re in school because they are having such a fun time with the lesson. I noticed that even the students who don’t usually participate were engaged in the lesson. Not only were they enjoying themselves, they were also really understanding what we were teaching them. By the end of the lesson the students were able to tell me what physical characteristics make a healthy stream, and what characteristics make an unhealthy stream. I related this lesson back to Richard Louv’s novel, as he mentioned the benefits of taking students outside to learn. I plan on taking my future students outside in the real world for lessons as much as possible. After today’s lesson I saw how beneficial outdoor learning can be for students. It really does enhance learning in a lot of ways.” [LB]

2. Increased confidence in teaching science or using place-based model: “I really think I have improved over the course of this experience and I feel so much more confident about teaching place-based science. I came into the school the first week terrified of what I didn’t think I was capable of and I now know that I can teach anything. This semester has taught me a lot about myself and myself as an educator. I know that I am meant to do this and I have learned so much about inquiry, 5e, and overall how to teach place-based science. I never liked science in school, but now I appreciate it so much more. I have learned how to make science fun, hands-on, and engaging for students and I hope to make all my students enjoy learning and enjoy science. I definitely think my overall science teaching has improved. I believe ask better, more engaging questions, have adequate wait time, and show an overall joy of the content. The past few months have taught me a lot and I am so grateful for this experience because I truly believe I will be a better teacher now.” [AB]

“As we progressed each week, I was able to come up with ideas more easily. I began to understand the five E format and could write a lesson plan with ease. Our planning time went from many hours to one hour. I began to understand inquiry teaching and why it works so well with the place-based format.”[KB]

“This experience teaching using a place-based model had a huge impact on me as a future teacher. I learned a lot about how to teach science. I improved not only in my comfort level as a science teacher, but also how to manage students while teaching outdoors. I improved with creating lessons that intrigued students and helped them relate to their lives and their local neighborhood. Being eager about science rubbed off on the students to enjoy the science content and respect me as their science teacher. Students are spending less and less time outdoors, so increasing students’ knowledge of their “backyard” will increase their desire to be outside! I loved this experience and look forward to teaching place-based science in my classroom!” [KF]

“In general, I have really enjoyed my experience at Pot Spring. I had never taught science before so I was really unsure how I would be as a science teacher. I remember feeling really nervous while I was teaching the first few lessons because the topic was so unfamiliar to me. However, looking back at the last few weeks, I realized how much I have improved as a science teacher. I have become so much more confident in the information I portray to the students and I have also become more enthusiastic about it. Since I have been working so closely with the science material, I have become very comfortable as a science teacher. This experience has also taught me a lot about myself in general. My main fear before this experience was that I wouldn’t be able to teach material that I wasn’t really familiar with. This internship took me a little bit out of my comfort zone and pushed me a lot. At the beginning of the semester I knew what decomposition was but I didn’t really know much about it. This experience has taught me how capable I am of adapting to new experiences and teaching new material, such as the place-based science lessons.” [SR]

“Looking back on my experience at Pot Spring I’m able to see just how far I’ve come. It really opened my eyes to just how fun teaching place-based science can be. Unfortunately, my experience in grade school with science was very boring and mundane. As a result, science has remained at the bottom of my favorite subject list for quite some time. But I can honestly say, based on my experience at Pot Spring that may finally be changing. I really enjoyed working with the third grade students each week and I believe that collectively they “bought in” to each and every activity we designed for them. They didn’t look at it as work, but more as an exciting opportunity to explore different aspects of science. As a science educator this is my goal. I want to see the excitement in my student’s eyes when we’re down at the stream. I want to create an atmosphere where my students look forward to working with their peers to explore different science phenomena. I recognize that I’ve grown in many areas over the last twelve weeks and look forward to continued growth. My experience this year has taught me that I’m on the right track. Ultimately, this is the course that gave me the most real world teaching experience. I will most certainly use a number of things that I learned in the future as I continue to grow as a science educator. “ [GS]

“Place-based education is something that more teachers should incorporate into their classrooms. It is an effective way to get students engaged and excited to learn. “[NS]

“I feel so much more confident with teaching science after this experience. I learned that creating inquiry-based lessons is definitely possible and more beneficial to the students. I definitely saw Louv’s beliefs about place-based education being proven because the students were more engaged and attentive whenever we went outside. I also have improved upon my ability to lead an outdoor exploration. After this course, my confidence and excitement for teaching outdoor science have tremendously increased. “[ST]

Revisiting the questions posed for this project:

1. To what extent do novice teachers’ ideas and attitudes towards nature and environmental education change as a result of participating in place-based education? OR What changes, if any, occur in novice teachers’ ideas and attitudes about nature and environmental education as a result of participating in the methods and practicum courses?

The stream activities that the interns conducted at the stream with the elementary level students were reported through narratives as very influential in enhancing their content knowledge and in shaping their ideas about environmental education.

“I now want to include as many lessons outdoors as possible in my future teaching. I learned that place-based education is very beneficial also. For example, when we took the students out to the stream they became passionate about what they were learning and I noticed a lot more participation than when the students were sitting at their desks engaging in discussions.” (LB)

“My favorite lessons were the stream lessons, although I wasn’t looking forward to them at all at first. The students were so excited to go outside. Some of the students who were struggling during the greater part of the semester really opened up when we went outside to explore.” (TG)

“Now I believe there should always be opportunities for the students to explore in a hands-on manner. The stream is the perfect place to do such things, but I think I could have used it to a fuller potential. Good science teachers want their students to feel comfortable in nature. Good science teachers encourage students to get their hands dirty and explore different environments. This promotes a love of and connection with nature, one that Richard Louv would certainly encourage for a multitude of reasons. A deep connection with nature, Louv argues, increases the cognitive functions and overall well-being of children. It also gives them a greater sense of responsibility for their local environment and increases the chances that children will enact positive change in favor of these environments, ultimately resulting in conservation of our natural habitats. This type of in depth observation also inspires children to identify as scientists and real investigators, a goal that all science teachers have for their students.” (MN)

“This experience has allowed me to try new things as a teacher since I haven’t had much experience with teaching lessons while outside. I felt really confident when I was with the students by the stream and I felt like I had really good control over the students.” (SR)

“This week, I realized how capable I am of working on my own with a small group. I felt really comfortable and in control of the group and I felt that they were able to fully understand what they had to do and felt comfortable completing the [chemical] tests.” (SR)

“This week showed me how comfortable I am with teaching in small groups in a different environment. Before the stream investigation started, I was unsure how I would be with teaching in the small groups by the stream but I realized that I actually really like it and felt confident.” (SR)

“Environmental education is something that more teachers should incorporate into their classrooms. It is an effective way to get students engaged and excited to learn. “ (NS)

“The students told me they liked when we came each Wednesday because it was fun and we often went outside. I definitely saw Louv’s beliefs about place-based education being proven because the students were more engaged and attentive whenever we went outside.” (ST)

“From this experience, I have learned how to effectively incorporate nature into my science teaching. According to Richard Louv, students’ should be emerged into nature when learning science because it allows students’ to have a hands-on experience and it improves their overall health. I will make sure to include nature into my science lessons when teaching so that my students will learn as scientists do and be appreciative of nature.” (KW)

“Before this experience, I did not like to submerge myself into nature because of my fear of insects. I am still fear insects, but I have learned to appreciate their contribution to our ecosystem.” (KW)

2. Which aspects of the place-based educational experience, if any, were reported through narratives by novice teachers as most influential in shaping their ideas about nature and environmental education?

Coupled with their enhanced content knowledge, having the opportunity to teach the content to the Pot Spring Elementary students weekly enhanced novice teachers’ confidence in their abilities to be effective science teachers.

Theme: Professional development/content knowledge regarding stream activity and teaching the stream activity at Pot Spring Elementary

Hands-on, field-based activity

“One thing that I learned about myself as a teacher of science and EE, is that I really like doing hands-on work with the students.” (SR).

“Each week, I am learning that I am more comfortable letting the students construct their own learning and just having me there as guidance. Even though it’s more challenging having an inquiry-based science lesson, it definitely makes it easier in the long run. The students at Pot Spring really grasp the EE activities we are providing for them. I’m hoping that because of the inquiry-based lessons that we have worked hard on will help the students create their posters and ultimately do well on the assessment.” (SH).

After doing the macroinvertebrates lesson [at Pot Spring]…I realized how important it is to show my enthusiasm about environmental Ed. At one point in the lesson, a water bug crawled on me (which would have terrified me in the past) and the students screamed, but I kept my cool and told the students that the bug was harmless. Most of my positive experiences from Pot Spring came from lessons that we taught outside…because the students were so enthusiastic about the outdoors. I now see the overwhelming benefits of environmental education.” (KH).

The numerous place-based teaching experiences (fallen log, observing fields, and stream activities) also played a role in how I view environmental science. I saw the effects that going outside had on the students. They were more engaged and more attentive after going outside and exploring. My combined experiences have made me feel much more confident and optimistic about environmental science” (ST).

Guided practice with curriculum development

“I have been thinking more about the inquiry-based lessons we taught. Although it’s hard for teachers to come up with ways to make all of their activities exciting and new, it’s definitely more rewarding than just watching students color or complete a worksheet. The students are completing the project in order to show us just how much they’ve learned about the Chesapeake Bay. I couldn’t imagine teaching just straight from a textbook and worksheets. I’ve found that inquiry-based lessons and hands-on activities are the only ways I want to teach my future science classes .” (ES)

“ I have really enjoyed my time with these students. This internship has shown me more about lesson plans and what can go wrong in a lesson than any of the other internships we have had. I feel like I have learned a lot from working with these students, especially about myself as a teacher. I have become much more comfortable with the idea of teaching EE/science, as well as become more aware of how much planning and preparation I will have to do in order to best teach my students. I have learned which lessons will be best taught as inquiry lessons as well as how to incorporate the various levels of Bloom’s taxonomy into my lessons, as well as how important doing so is to my students’ progress.” (NS).

“I feel so much more confident with teaching science after taking this course. While it was stressful at times, I learned what real teaching is like and how flexible you have to be. I also learned that creating inquiry-based lessons is definitely possible and more beneficial to the students.” (ST)

Experience with EE teaching in K-12 classrooms

“By seeing students in fifth grade actually caring about their environmental science project and the prospect of helping the environment, I feel that I was given a new, better opinion of the efforts that are put into environmental science.” (EW)

“As a teacher I am learning that I enjoy teaching EE more than I thought I would. It includes a lot of fun activities and to see the students excited to create a model of the Chesapeake Bay makes me excited to teach it. I am learning that EE, and science in general, is a lot like every other subject. It incorporates math as well as English, so to be a good teacher I have to teach by using what I have learned in other areas and integrate it in with their lessons”. (BY).

Lessons Learned

Narratives from this study and others (e.g., Carrier, 2009) indicate that simply enacting environmental education standards and policy at the state level will not change practice. Like science teaching in general, if pre-service teachers are expected to integrate EE into regular instruction, they need authentic experiences during their programs of study to instruct and interact with children in settings similar to those in which they will be expected to teach (Tschannen-Moran et al., 1998). This could be difficult in light of the current status of environmental education in preservice teacher education programs — few institutions offer a major, minor, concentration or even coursework in environmental education and even fewer require practicum experiences (McKeown-Ice, 2000). However, if environmental education is to become fully integrated into K-12 instruction, it is essential that teacher educators and postsecondary institutions work collectively to provide more comprehensive, practical environmental education experiences for teacher candidates prior to induction into classrooms. Currently, I think that EE is implemented in a piecemeal manner- the amount of exposure a novice teacher has to place-based teaching is very dependent on who the student has as an instructor for any particular course. It is not systemically being practiced across teacher preparation programs, but rather found in a “here and there” format.

The novice teachers’ own reflections indicate that planning and implementing environmental education curriculum was most influential in shaping pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy. In particular, EE curriculum development, implementation and ongoing reflection about its effectiveness during the practicum experience seemed to be crucial in shaping pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their environmental education teaching abilities. In other words, without practice and experience, how can we expect them to implement this type of teaching in their own classrooms?

An implicit goal of this design was to foster greater awareness among our pre-service teachers of how their perceptions and beliefs about environmental education teaching shaped their practice. Yet, some pre-service teachers still felt hesitant about environmental education pedagogy. Moseley and Utley (2008) suggested teacher educators should spend time explicitly discussing the goals of environmental education, the role of the teacher in environmental education, and how students learn about the environment. To enhance pre-service teacher self-efficacy for environmental education teaching, ongoing discourse about the roles of teacher and students in EE instruction is necessary.

To give pre-service teachers the time and experience necessary to enhance their confidence with environmental education, its related concepts, and potential for curriculum integration, environmental education should be infused across methods courses, and environmental science concepts in particular should be integrated into pre-service teachers’ science course requirements (Moseley, et al., 2003).

Sarah Haines is a professor of science education and biology at Towson University, Towson MD. She has been cultivating an interest in environmental and place-based education in her students for the past 16 years. Sarah is also a past president of the state environmental education association and, as a result of her place-based education efforts, a recipient of the University System of Maryland’s Regent’s Award for Community Outreach.

References

Carrier, S.J. (2009): Environmental education in the schoolyard: Learning styles and gender. Journal of Environmental Education, 40(3), 2–12.

Maryland State Department of Education. Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards. http://www.msde.maryland.gov/NR/rdonlyres/EC79EC27-40BF-4017-894B-63A12A89A3D1/31625/MD_ELIT_STANDARDS.pdf

McKeown-Ice, R. (2000) Environmental education in the United States: A survey of preservice teacher education programs. Journal of Environmental Education, 32(1), 4–11.

Moseley, C.; Reinke, K; & Bookout, V. (2003). The effect of teaching outdoor environmental education on preservice teachers’ self-efficacy. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 15(1), 1–14.

Moseley, C., and Utley, J. (2008). An exploratory study of preservice teachers’ beliefs about the environment. Journal of Environmental Education, 39(4), 15–30.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration: Chesapeake Bay Program. Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. http://www.chesapeakebay.net/publications/title/meaningful_watershed_educational_experience1

Tschannen-Moran, M; Woolfolk Hoy, A.; & Hoy, W.K. (1998). Teacher efficacy: Its meaning and measure. Review of Educational Research, 68 (202–248).

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