Keywords

Ocean stewardship, inquiry, field embedded learning, experiential learning

Abstract

The purpose of this action research study was to document 8th grade students' experiences at a residential marine learning facility as they discovered the interconnections between life on Earth and its dependency on ocean health. My goal was for students to take their new knowledge and share it with others in a quest to become educated and caring stewards of the Earth's ocean. Students in this study participated in open peer and instructor discussions, performed full and guided inquiry activities, and snorkeled among the shallow water habitats that transition from mangroves toward coral reefs to discover the interconnections among shallow water marine habitats and the critical necessity of biological diversity among habitats. The processes used to collect data for this action research study were a pre/post knowledge assessment about coral reefs, videotaped conversations among peers and instructors, photographs documenting student engagement in activities, and interviews conducted at the conclusion of the trip. The themes that emerged included a mindset of ocean stewardship, deep engagement in inquiry-driven activities while interacting among peers, the ability to clearly articulate the effects of human impact on biological diversity and the need to maintain sustainable shallow water ecosystems that are biologically diverse. Although this study was only conducted over a three day weekend, the emergent themes highlight the value of providing students with opportunities to interact with nature. Experiential learning not only contributes to the various ways of knowing but such experiences help students develop a stronger sense of self perception and values as they begin formulating their sense of relationship to and responsibilities toward their own communities and the larger, natural world.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2012

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Dixon, Juli

Degree

Master of Education (M.Ed.)

College

College of Education and Human Performance

Department

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

Degree Program

K-8 Math and Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004588

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004588

Language

English

Release Date

December 2012

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Education, Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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