Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Tale from the Field: Shifting Program Policies to Support Teaching and Learning

From Tara Fuad, the Nature Collective, San Diego, CA.

Before implementing BEETLES, our programs used to be 1.5–2 hours. [We changed them all to be] 2–5 hours. I still don’t feel like it’s enough time, but it’s a great start and big improvement. You need that much time to get the students warmed up, get used to the hand lens, and comfortable with some freedom to explore. (Read the rest of Tara’s story)

From Luana Rivera Palacio, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, San Jose, CA.

Once we honed in on the central goals of our program, we could focus on being open to learning ways BEETLES could help us change the [structure of] the program to better support those goals. On field trips, we used to have 4 stations that were 20 minutes each. They were very much lecture-based and teacher-led but had the advantage of breaking a large class into smaller groups. But BEETLES focuses on student inquiry and discussions, which flat out takes more time. We moved to 3 30-minute stations and limited the overall class size. Next year, we’ll pilot 2 45-minute stations with 2 guides at each station (4 total) to see if that’s the right mix of time and content to make sure we reach our goal of students being able to form their own connections with nature through our programs… Be open to changing the structure of your program to better achieve your goals. (Read the rest of Luana’s story)

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