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ERIC Number: EJ856298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1085-3545
The Nature of Science Education
Connors, Margaret M.; Perkins, Bill
Democracy & Education, v18 n3 p56-60 2009
A number of studies have shown that spending time in nature produces cognitive benefits. What if a child's exposure to the out-of-doors is considered not just a beneficial extracurricular activity, but a fundamental building block to an elementary education in math and science? The Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School operates a 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. school day that integrates regular classes with recreation, tutoring, and community service in a seamless way. Ninety percent of the school's 350 kindergarten through eighth-grade students come from five Boston neighborhoods--Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Jamaica Plain. The school's mission combines social justice and inquiry-based learning to achieve its goal of achievement for all students. There are three components to this mission: (1) A "democratic process that relies on active partnerships with families, students, community members, and institutions; (2) A collective commitment to "social justice" through academic excellence for the diverse student body; and (3) "Critical thinking," intellectual curiosity, community involvement, and responsible leadership. The school faculty have found that teaching the sciences through real-world experiences using nature can accomplish three goals: (1) Generate a love of science through exploration, discovery, and immersion in inquiry learning; (2) Improve standardized test scores and other academic skills by aligning an experience-based science curriculum with the kinds of questions and intellectual strategies found on state-wide standardized exams and grade-level core subject math and science material; and (3) Integrate a concept of wellness into academic studies through kinesthetic learning. (Contains 1 note.)
Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road MSC 93, Portland, OR 97219. Tel: 503-768-6054; Fax: 503-768-6053; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A