University of Kansas Field Station

Workshop on outdoor education for secondary teachers held at Field Station

Published on September 7, 2012 by Jennifer Delisle

Tags: Education, Workshops

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

Photo: Brad Williamson

A workshop on “Outdoor education for secondary teachers” was held at the KU Field Station on June 9-10. The event, sponsored by the KU Center for Science Education, was attended by eight high school teachers as well as interested people from the KU and Lawrence community. Helen Alexander, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Brad Williamson, Center for Science Education, organized the workshop.

The workshop had two overall thrusts. First, participants addressed Richard Louv’s “nature-deficit syndrome” – the fact that many children today lack knowledge and experiences in outdoor environments. The second focus was on incorporating “inquiry” into science education, where students learn through their own studies and explorations. Workshop activities included diverse hands-on exercises (leaf structure, tick distributions, and grassland community structure), as well as sampling pond communities, a tour of the Rockefeller Prairie, and a nighttime astronomy experience.