ERIC Number: EJ1125895
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1933 8341
The Mixed Plate: A Field Experience on the Cultural and Environmental Diversity of the Big Island of Hawai'i
Strait, John B.; Fujimoto-Strait, Ava R.
Geography Teacher, v14 n1 p5-24 2017
The intent of this paper was to outline a field endeavor that encourages increased insight into important geographic themes pertaining to the Big Island of Hawai'i. Student participants in this field course come away with an enhanced comprehension and appreciation of the benefits associated with learning to incorporate geographical perspectives as a means to understand the world around them. Crucial to this realization is the interrogation of physical, cultural, and environmental geography via direct field observation and through involvement with the "pedagogy of place"--studying places themselves as text. Directly studying physical and cultural landscapes enables students to address creatively a number of questions pertaining to the Big Island: How were the Hawaiian Islands formed? What environmental factors (e.g., climatological, biogeographical, marine) and processes have influenced the distribution of the island's flora and fauna? What is Hawaiian culture and where does it come from? How has the culture they have been immersed within impacted and been impacted by life on the "mainland"? What makes the food they are eating, the music they are listening to, or the "pidgin" they are hearing unique? The learning that occurs from addressing these questions is enhanced before, during, and after the field experience through the use of a host of geospatial technologies. For example, geospatial technology is utilized prior to departure to construct maps used in field experiences, is used to spatially reference various physical and cultural phenomena during the course of those field experiences, and is used to organize, analyze, and display geographic data upon return to the classroom. By the end of the field experience, student participants better understand the geographical nature of Hawai'i as a distinct place. They also better understand the United States, the Pacific realm, the world, and themselves. For instance, upon returning, Hawai'i no longer represents a mere spot on a map or a far-away exotic place witnessed on television, and geography no longer is just a subject. They represent experiences--experiences they have shared with others. most important, they develop and possess a new respect and appreciation for geography as an intellectual endeavor.
Descriptors: Geography Instruction, Educational Benefits, Teaching Methods, Climate, Marine Education, Animals, Plants (Botany), Food, Music, Field Experience Programs, Environment, Course Descriptions, Hawaiians, Folk Culture, Malayo Polynesian Languages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A