Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Tale from the Field: How We Are Cultivating a Professional Learning Community at Our Statewide Meeting of Administrators

From Celeste Royer, Director, Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School, San Luis Obispo, California, and State Chair of California Outdoor School Association (COSA).

COSA is a statewide association of outdoor school leaders from County Offices of Education and School Districts. We meet twice per year to discuss topics and issues specific to operating residential outdoor science schools. Each meeting takes place over two days with participants spending the night at one of the member sites. Most COSA members use BEETLES Project strategies in their outdoor school programs. The members share implementation successes and challenges and have invited guest speakers to deepen their own learning about constructivist, student-centered outdoor science education and wanted to spend more time building a Professional Learning Community within their group. Time away from site administration presents a challenge, and members did not want to add additional meetings. To make more time, we agreed to change the structure and length of each meeting to commence two hours earlier and end two hours later. Some of the added time will be dedicated to building a Professional Learning Community centered around focus topics such as implementing BEETLES strategies.

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