ERIC Number: ED374010
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Into the Woods: Nature Experience and Conceptual Change.
Fellows, Nancy J.
One key to effective conceptual change teaching is to discover each student's conceptions about the conditions before instruction. The teacher then provides experiences that create dissatisfaction with existing ideas and models a new conception that is intelligible, plausible, and fruitful. The purpose of the Acorn Project of the Chicago office of the Illinois Nature Conservancy was to involve city children with earth keeping experiences connecting them to particular places and developing active attachment to and tending of a natural space. The curriculum was specific to and generated from the characteristics of three Cook County Nature Preserve sites. Trained adult volunteer docents accompanied and assisted students in the field and the classroom. Students drew concept maps of"the environment" and what they expected the woods would look like before they traveled to the nature preserves. After the nature experience, students were asked to write about what they expected to see at the preserve the next time they visited. Notes and reports from teaching docents and student responses showed that when students went into the woods in small groups with a volunteer adult leader, participants changed their conceptions of nature and the importance of human interaction about our natural environments. (LZ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Environmental Attitudes
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-8, 1994).