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Environment-Based Learning
Courses Summer 2014

June 16–20

Llife and land

The Intersection of Life and Land: Issue Driven Investigations (IN634)

This course is designed as a model of the environment-based learning process. Educators will participate in investigations related to local issues, focusing on the integrated relationship of the environment to people and culture (geography). Participants 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, land use issues and their impacts on the watershed and water quality will focus on the Chesapeake Bay. The course will involve field trips for cultural and scientific investigations, including a two-night trip to charming Smith Island, MD with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation from the 18-20. The course will also include strategies to help K-12 students identify local problems and develop plans for problem solving and implementation. Course Instructor: Dr. Tamra Willis, MBC associate professor, Education.

July 14–18

naturejournalingNature Journaling across the Curriculum (ED616)

Dr. Susan Leigh Tomlinson (BFA in art; MS and PhD in Geology) will lead this course for the beginner and experienced naturalist alike; the course offers something for anyone interested in keeping a personal narrative of encounters with nature. In the course, educators will study a variety of journaling techniques for observing and documenting the natural world, including the use of field sketching/drawing, maps, charts, and diagrams in their field studies. The course is designed to:

  • introduce educators to strategies for improving the scientific, artistic, written and reflective abilities of K-12 students using nature experiences;
  • encourage educators to use the outdoors around the school and community as sites for nature-related observation, documentation, and artistic/written expression;
  • help educators develop school-based curriculum strategies for integrating art with science and writing through nature journaling. 

Course Instructor: Dr. Susan Leigh Tomlinson, MBC adjunct faculty. 

July 28–August 1

inthegardenMath in the Garden: Engaging Students through Real-World Inquiry (ED618)

In this course, Dr. Verne Leininger (PhD Mathematics) will instruct educators in how to use the garden and local environment to teach standards-based math skills to students in grades K-8. Using outdoor connections, the course will address the concepts, practice, and applications of math, from basic operations to geometry and data analysis. Educators will learn ways to make math more meaningful for students, through problem-solving and task-oriented strategies that help answer the question, “Why do we have to learn this?” The course will include field trips to gardens and natural areas for implementation practice.  Course Instructor: Dr. Verne Leininger, MBC adjunct faculty.

Graduate Credit

Each course extends beyond the week, on-line, and 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 locations. Housing options are available.