Environment-Based Learning
Courses Summer 2015

A $50 registration fee is required (non-refundable)

Contact Information
Dr. Tamra Willis

June 22–26

NatureResearchNatural Research: Plant and Animal Studies in the Outdoors (ED618)

The natural environment presents an excellent setting for student development of scientific investigations. This course will provide K-12 educators the skills needed to work with students as they design and perform their own science experiments related to the local environment. Educators will participate in watershed-based field investigations, develop experiments, collect and analyze data, and present results and conclusions. Teachers will plan curriculum for effective inquiry-based instruction by implementing strategies and techniques presented in class. The course will address learning standards in scientific investigations and the natural sciences. Instructor: Dr. Michael Pelton, MBC Adjunct Professor, Wildlife Science

July 13–17

 LifeandLandThe Intersection of Life and Land (IN634)

This course is designed as a model of the environment-based learning process. Students will participate in investigations related to local environmental issues, focusing on the integrated relationship of environment to people and culture (geography). Students will explore the history, cultural connections, related books/articles, and basic ecological & scientific principles needed to conduct a detailed investigation. In this year’s course, issues of land use and impacts on the watershed and water quality will focus on Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail. The course will involve field trips for cultural and scientific investigations, including full-day field experiences. The course will also include strategies to help K-12 students identify local problems and develop plans for problem solving and implementation. Instructor: Dr. Tamra Willis, MBC Associate Professor, Education.

July 27–31

ReadingontheRiverReading on the River (ED628)

When students look at the natural world, they ask questions. In searching for and communicating the answers, students need to be able to read and write effectively. In this course, educators will learn to build upon students’ natural curiosities to develop an environment-based literacy program for students in grades K-12. By connecting research-supported literacy instruction to experiences in the outdoors, educators can create reading and writing activities that are relevant and motivational for students. In the course, educators will study pedagogical skills and strategies that align instruction to local and state literacy standards. Methods, resources, and technology for teaching foundational reading skills and for using informational text, literature, writing, and assessments will be explored. Instructor: Dr. Dana McCauley, MBC Adjunct Professor, Education

Graduate Credit

Each course is from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily and extends beyond the week, online. Each course provides 3 hours of graduate credit from MBC. The courses may apply toward the MEd degree (EBL) through MBC. A $50 non-refundable registration fee is required. Courses will be held in Staunton and at various field-experience locations. Housing options are available.