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ERIC Number: EJ1157430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Planting Deeper
Caballero, Ana Maria; Dashoush, Nermeen
Science and Children, v55 n2 p56-61 Oct 2017
The Arnold Arboretum Field Study Program provides outdoor experiences for children in order to develop authentic firsthand knowledge of life sciences. The Arboretum welcomes approximately 3,200 children (preK-5) from greater Boston annually. During the program called Explorations with Head Start participants, the children visit three times throughout the school year to observe seasonal change. The program's mission is to provide depth over breadth by encouraging hands-on exploration of seasonal phenomena and thoughtful conversations with students about the plants they encounter. Outdoor spaces, such as the Arnold Arboretum, allow children to gather their own evidence of plant biodiversity. Unlike most states, Massachusetts has science standards for preK children as part of the Massachusetts Science Technology and Engineering (STE) Framework. The Massachusetts STE are an adaptation of the "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS"). The educational framework at the Arboretum adheres to their state's framework for teaching life science to children, which reads: Using evidence from the local environment, explain how familiar plants and animals meet their needs where they live (PreK-LS2-2). The practices described in this article have been identified as key for moving past the listing of what plants need, aligning more with standards such as emphasizing scientific practice and requiring children to look for evidence. Furthermore, through these practices, children begin to see variety within plants, which will help rectify misconceptions. Although all of the practices recommended herein were originally used by an Arboretum educator, they are intended to give teachers tools to explore any outdoor setting.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts (Boston)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A