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ERIC Number: EJ942322
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0826-4805
Engaging Students in Science Courses: Lessons of Change from the Arctic
Duffy, Lawrence K.; Godduhn, Anna; Fabbri, Cindy E.; van Muelken, Mary; Nicholas-Figueroa, Linda; Middlecamp, Catherine Hurt
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v42 n2 p105-136 May 2011
Where you live should have something to do with what you teach. In the Arctic, the idea of place-based education--teaching and sharing knowledge that is needed to live well--is central to the UARCTIC consortium and the 4th International Polar Year educational reform effort. A place-based issue oriented context can engage students in chemistry concepts when it intersects with their experience and lives. This article examines the rationale and means of integrating local concerns such as world view, culture, traditional knowledge, and policy into both general and specialized chemistry courses. More broadly, capacious place-based issues should be widely adapted by all curriculum reform efforts to demonstrate the connectivity between science and societal understanding of technological options. A case in point is the inclusion of indigenous perspectives in a non-majors general chemistry course when the concepts of scientific method, ice and water resources, genetic engineering, and so forth are discussed. In a specialized course on radioactivity in the north, topics connected nuclear chemistry and radioactivity to people and energy. The local landscape should be central to science courses and involve issues relevant to stewardship, a component of the indigenous world view. The historical issues can be connected to current nuclear energy and uranium mining as they relate to the risks and benefits for the local community. This article will make the case that curriculum reform that focuses on real-world topics will not only engage students so that they perform well in class but also spark their interest so that they continue learning after the course is over.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A