January 26, 2010
According to reports from Haiti, the relief effort is in full swing, and although search and rescue efforts were officially stopped, in truth, they are still happening, and of course this is a hopeful event for the people in Haiti. According to Christiane Amanpour, the U.N. is beginning to work toward the clearing away of debris by hiring Haitians, and also is encouraging as many people as possible to travel to other parts of the country to be with family and friends, away from the center of the earthquake damaged Port-Au-Prince.… Read more
March 21, 2009
Informal learning as a paradigm for classroom learning suggests that learning is holistic, and is steeped in inclusiveness and connectedness. As I suggested yesterday, John Dewey wrote about the importance of an “experiential education” more than 100 years ago, and his words are just as relevant today, as they were then.
For many years I co-taught a university course on environmental science and geology. However, the course was a three-week “field” trip from Atlanta, Georgia to the Colorado Rocky Mountains. In addition to fossil hunting in Kansas along our bus route, visiting museums in Denver, exploring the rocks and strata in the Rockies, observing wildlife at 10,000 feet, we spent several days in the backcountry backpacking and camping. We couldn’t have provided a more informal science experience than three weeks in the Rocky Mountains. During those trips, incidental learning was in greater supply than formal lessons—in fact, I am hard put to recall any formal lessons during these explorations of the West. But I do remember returning and teaching courses in the Fall semester at Georgia State University and longing for the informality of learning that ignited the students (all teachers) in their quest for understanding environmental science and geology.… Read more
November 13, 2008
In the last two posts, I’ve discussed the recent research that focuses on girls and science, and how teachers can make transformations in their practice to incorporate recent research. Making a transformation in ones teaching is challenging and indeed a creative adventure.
In the 1970s I was teaching an undergraduate geology course at Georgia State University. It was an introductory course in geology that included 20 students, many of whom were majoring in elementary teacher education. The course content was fairly traditional, and was based on a popular introductory geology text.… Read more
March 16, 2007
A few years ago Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner for work on the ozone layer, proposed a new name for the geological epoch based on the effects of human civilization on the earth. He proposed that the new epoch began in the early 1800 and should be named the Anthropocene Epoch. You can read a good pro/con on the proposal at Andrew Alden’s geology site.… Read more
January 2, 2007
Huh? I was listening to a local radio show today, when I heard the show’s host claim that rangers at the Grand Canyon National Park can not tell visitors the age of the Grand Canyon because it might offend creationists. And in the Canyon bookstore is a book for sale that claims that the Grand Canyon was formed by Noah’s Flood!… Read more
August 18, 2006
We recently traveled to New England by air for a family visit, and to attend antiques shows held during the “New Hampshire Antiques Week.” Because of the terrorist threat in London, we decided to drive back to Georgia traveling from Concord, New Hampshire, through Brattleboro, Vermont into Connecticut, then into New York and Pennsylvania down to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.… Read more
June 14, 2006
I wanted to write about our nations obsession with testing the daylights out of students in our schools, K-12 about a week ago, but got side-tracked by writing about climate change! Go figure. The State of Georgia released the results of its state-wide testing program, and the results showed that more than 25% of Georgia’s school population could be retained in the Fall (06) if they don’t pass the re-test that will be given this summer—of course the state invites the kids to “summer school” to get ready for the test.… Read more