Professional Learning Session on Field Journaling as a learning tool to improve observations.
Field journaling is a powerful practice that supports observation, thinking, and learning. This session offers opportunities for participants to reflect on how field journaling can be used to support learner engagement and science learning at their program. Field journaling supports learners to directly engage with nature, provides a venue for learner reflection, and can get learners excited about the process of observation and learning. Integrating field journaling can also reinforce equitable and inclusive learner-centered and nature-centered teaching practices. Field instructors may find that engaging in the practice of field journaling also deepens their own knowledge of natural history and can be a forum for reflecting on their teaching approaches.
In this session, participants engage in three model learner journaling activities and discuss the benefits of field journaling as a practice. Participants also look at sample pages from field journals of scientists, naturalists, and thinkers and reflect on how field journaling can support outdoor science learning. Participants consider and discuss strategies for supporting learner engagement. In an optional extension, participants can examine printed journal pages from a variety of outdoor science programs and discuss the relevance and effectiveness of different kinds of journal pages. This conversation can be a launching point for your program to reevaluate and, perhaps redesign, your organization’s printed journals.
Goals for this session are:
- Model field journaling activities that can be used to support learners’ observations in and connection to nature.
- Explore a variety of journal pages from naturalists, scientists, and thinkers and discuss strategies and approaches of field journaling.
- Provide a forum to discuss how field journaling as a practice supports learning.
- Discuss strategies for scaffolding journaling experiences to support student access, participation, and student learning.
- Practice giving supportive feedback to learners on their journal entries.
- Reflect on how to incorporate journaling into outdoor science instruction.
- Optional: Discuss the pros and cons of a wide variety of sample pages from printed outdoor science school printed journals.