Co-chairs: Ana Maria Caballero McGuire (Children’s Education Fellow, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University) and Olga Mayoral García-Berlanga (Assistant professor, Department of Experimental and Social Sciences, Faculty of Teacher Training/Jardí Botànic de la Universitat de València)
While biologists and botanists base a large part of their work in field studies, this approach to learning science seems not to permeate the way current science classes are taught. For students, being outdoors is a "fun" activity; for teachers, outdoor learning does not necessarily involve "authentic" science. Changes to current teacher training practices are needed in order to restore outdoor education as a cornerstone of life science education. Fieldwork not only improves science competencies, but it also builds community within a classroom, increases connections to place, and develops positive associations towards school and the outdoors.
This study group pursues three specific objectives:
To be a reflection and debate forum on field work in life science teaching, and to explore different ongoing practices and projects of outdoor education in schools and other institutions.
To promote teacher training focused on quality outdoor education practices linked to botanical gardens and arboreta as outstanding teaching resources.
To prepare bilingual (Spanish-English) teaching materials to encourage science teachers in the use of outdoor environments and to promote field work.
The first phase of the project will focus on gathering outdoor science teaching experiences in different natural areas, botanic gardens and arboreta, analyzing the basic features that explain its emergent characteristics and that should be especially considered.
Members of the group:
Ana Maria Caballero McGuire (Children’s Education Fellow, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University)
Olga Mayoral García-Berlanga: Botanist (Assistant professor, Department of Experimental and Social Sciences, Faculty of Teacher Training/Researcher of the Jardí Botànic de la Universitat de València). Botanist.
Tatiana Pina Desfilis: Entomologist (Assistant professor, Department of Experimental and Social Sciences, Faculty of Teacher Training, Universitat de València). Entomologist.
Jaime Güemes Heras: Botanist (Director and Curator of the Jardí Botànic de la Universitat de València). Botanist.
Eva Pastor Sierra (Responsible for the Culture and Communication Unit of the Jardí Botànic de la Universitat de València).
Victor Pereira (lecturer on education and Master Teacher in Residence (Science) of the Harvard Teachers Fellows Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), Harvard University)
Nermeen Dashoush (Clinical Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Boston University).
Barbara Gates (K- Grade 3 Science Specialist, Gardner Pilot Academy Boston Public Schools and Arboretum for Educators Program Teacher).