Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Tale from the Field: Adapting our Pre-Program Classroom Visits

From Olga Feingold, Program Director, Outward Bound at Thompson Island, Boston, Massachusetts.

We realized we wanted to change our pre-program classroom visits to shift from a prior emphasis on memorizing facts toward our current goal of instilling students with a scientific mindset of making observations and asking questions. To accomplish this, we started using the BEETLES activity I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of and the How to Teach Nature Journaling activity To Each Its Own during pre-program classroom visits. As soon as they made the shift, instructors noticed that students asked fewer questions about bears, swim time, and rooming with their BFF and started asking questions like: “How much time will we get to observe?” “Will we get to observe other objects like rocks and shells?” “Will we get to observe plate tectonics?” “What other type of objects or organisms will we get to observe?” “Will there be time to observe every day?”

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