Merging earth science with environmental education for teachers through inquiry, constructivist and place-based learning

Date created: 
Earth Science
Teacher Education
Inquiry Learning
Constructivist Learning
Place-based Learning

Recognizing the importance of interdisciplinarity and effective pedagogical implementation, Earth science is incorporated into three of the six modules of an Environmental Education course (EDU452) at Simon Fraser University for teachers, through inquiry, constructivist and place-based learning. The case study research encompasses two pilots with 52 participants in summer 2018 and 2019. Field observations, interviews and pre- and post-course surveys (MESEES) were employed to evaluate the course effectiveness and pedagogies. EDU452 increased students’ recognition of Earth Science being fundamental and relevant. Inquiry learning promoted engagement, yet careful design of overarching questions and guidance adjusted according to individual’s pre-existing knowledge and the conceptual difficulty are recommended. Constructivist and place-based learning are widely accepted by the participants for offering personal ownership of learning, engaging experiences, impactful visuals, and local relevance of knowledge. Conceptual and experiential learners have different understandings of the role of Earth Science. An integrated teaching strategy is believed to enhance the congruency across subjects.

Document type: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Eileen van der Flier Keller
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.