ERIC Number: ED458063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Roger Tory Peterson Institute Links Interdisciplinary Nature Studies to Increased Community Understanding. Rural Trust Featured Project.
Null, Elizabeth Higgins
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (Jamestown, New York) has been sparking a regional revival in K-12 nature studies and attracting attention from educators across America. Through summer training sessions and workshops, the Institute introduces multidisciplinary teams of teachers and community members to empirical research techniques for observing and documenting the biophysical and cultural characteristics of their local communities. The Selborne Project, upon which this program is based, encouraged educators to use the one square kilometer surrounding their schools as a living science laboratory, where students learn about natural and human systems and how they interact. Teachers and students use all their senses on regular expeditions to their square kilometer, keeping detailed field notes, making careful sketches, and entering data into personal journals. Human activities or artifacts, such as natural resource use and past architectural styles, receive as much scrutiny as natural components. This instills pride in the local region, which is important in many rural areas that may be seen as deteriorating. Field research is supplemented by visits to local libraries, searches through government records or reports, and Internet searches. The resulting interest in the local community often sparks service learning projects in which students learn the importance of giving back to the community. Many schools affiliated with the program have developed local networks of volunteers, business leaders, and government workers, transforming their schools into more community-oriented institutions. (TD)
Descriptors: Data Collection, Elementary Secondary Education, Experiential Learning, Field Studies, Inservice Teacher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Naturalistic Observation, Outdoor Education, Place Based Education, Program Descriptions, Rural Education, School Community Relationship, Service Learning
For full text: http://www.ruraledu.org/rtpitxt2.html.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, DC.