This paper describes a collaborative project in which elementary education (ELED) majors partnered with recreation majors (RM) to develop and implement science lessons in the outdoors. ELED and RM students both need experiential learning to accomplish respective skill sets in multiple settings. The purpose of this project was to provide both undergraduate groups with “real-life” experiences related to their respective fields and in doing so, to promote science learning in natural spaces. ELED and RM students co-constructed inquiry-based lessons and related recreational activities for implementation with 5th grade students. The researchers provide an overview of the project and describe the actions, benefits and outcomes of this university partnership.
Innovations Journal articles, beyond each issue's featured article, are included with ASTE membership. If your membership is current please login at the upper right.
Anderson, D., Lawson, B., & Mayer-Smith, J. (2006). Investigating the impact of a practicum experience in an aquarium on preservice teachers. Teaching Education, 17, 341-353.
Bainer, D., Cantrell, D. and Barron, P. (2000). Professional development of nonformal environmental educators through school-based partnerships. Journal of Environmental Education, 32(1), 36-46.
Barcelona, R. J., Hurd, A. R., & Bridgeman, J. A. (2011). A competency-based approach to preparing staff as recreation and youth development leaders. New Directions for Youth Development, 130, 121-139.
Bennett, K. & Heafner, T. (2004). Having a field day with environmental education. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 3, 89-100.
Bingaman, D. & Bradley-Eitel, K. (2010). Boulder creek study. Science and Children, 47(6), 52-56.
Bixler, R. D., Floyd, M., & Hammitt, W. E. (2002). Environmental socialization: Quantitative tests of childhood play hypothesis. Environment and Behavior, 34, 795-818.
Bleicher, R. (2004). Revisiting the STEBI-B: Measuring self-efficacy in preservice teacher education. School Science and Mathematics, 104, 383-391.
Brown, S. (2009). Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the
Soul. New York: Penguin Publishing.
Burdette, H. L. & Whitaker, R. C. (2005). Resurrecting free play in young children: Looking beyond fitness and fatness to attention, affiliation and affect. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 159, 46-50.
Bybee, R. (2015). The BSCS 5E instructional model: creating teachable moments. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association.
Carrier, S. J. (2009). Environmental education in the schoolyard: learning styles and gender. Journal of Environmental Education. 21(2) 35-48.
Carrier-Martin, S. (2003). The influence of outdoor schoolyard experiences on students’ environmental knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and comfort levels. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 12(2), 51-63.
Chawla, L. (1998). Significant life experiences revisited: A review of research on the sources of environmental sensitivity. Environmental Education Research, 4, 369-382.
Cronin-Jones, L. L., (2000). The effectiveness of schoolyards as sites for elementary science instruction. School Science and Mathematics, 100, 203211.
Dadvand, P., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J., Esnaola, M., Forns, J., Basagaña, X., Alvarez-Pedrerol, M., & Sunyer, J. (2015). Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 112: 7937-7942
Duerden, M. D. & Witt, P. A., (2010). The impact of direct and indirect experiences on the development of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. The Journal of Environmental Psychology. 30, 379392.
Ewert, A., Place, G. & Sibthorp, J. (2005). Early-life outdoor experiences and an individual’s environmental attitudes. Leisure Sciences, 27, 225-239.
Gray, P. (2011). The Decline of play and the rise of psychopathology in children and adolescents. American Journal of Play, 3, 443-463.
Gunning, A. & Mensah, F. (2010). Preservice elementary teachers’ development of self-efficacy and confidence to teach science: a case study. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 22, 171-185.
Hofferth, S. (2009). Media use vs. work and play in middle childhood. Social Indicators Research, 90, 127-129.
James, J. J., Bixler, R. & Vadala, C. (2010). From play in nature, to recreation then vocation: A developmental model for natural history-oriented environmental professionals.
Jarrett, O. (1999). Science interest and confidence among preservice elementary teachers. Journal of Elementary Science Education, 11, 49-59.
Kahn P.H., & Kellert, S.R. (2002) Children and nature: psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. MIT Press; Cambridge, MA
Kelly, J. (2000). Rethinking the elementary science methods course: A case for content, pedagogy, and informal science education. International Journal of Science Education, 22, 755-777.
Kisiel, J. (2010). Exploring a school-aquarium collaboration: An intersection of communities of practice. Science Education, 94, 95–121.
Kisiel, J. (2013). Introducing future teachers to science beyond the classroom. Journal of Science Teacher Education. 24, 67-91.
Knotts, G., Henderson, L., Davidson, R.A. & Swain, J.D. (2009). The search for authentic practice across the disciplinary divide. College Teaching, 57, 188-196.
Lederman, N. (1999). Teachers’ understanding of the nature of science and classroom practice. Factors that facilitate or impeded the relationship. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36, 916-929.
Letterman, M. & Dugan, K. (2004). Team teaching a cross-disciplinary honors course: preparation and development. College Teaching, 55, 76-79.
Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books.
McLaughlin, D. (2015). Investigating preservice teachers’ self-efficacy through Saturday science. Journal of College Science Teaching, 45(1), 77-83.
Maheady, L., Magiera, K. and Simmons, R. (2016). Building and sustaining school’ university partnerships in rural settings: One approach for improving special education service delivery. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 35(2), 33-40.
McClanahan, L. and Buly, M.R. (2009). Purposeful partnerships: Linking preservice teachers with diverse K-12 students, Multicultural Education, 16(3), 55-59.
Miller, James R. (2005). Biodiversity conservation and the extinction of experience. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20, 430-434.
Moseley, C., Reinke, K., & Bookout, V. (2002). The effect of teaching outdoor environmental education on preservice teachers’ attitudes toward self-efficacy and outcome expectancy. Journal of Environmental Education, 34(1), 9-15.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practice (2016). Common core state standards. National Governors Association for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers. Washington, D.C.
Proshansky, H. & Fabian, A. (1987). The development of place identity in the child. In Weinstein, C.S. & David, C. (Eds.) Spaces for children. NY: Plenum Press, 2139.
Pyle, R. M. (2002). Eden in a vacant lot: special places, species and kids in community of life. In Kahn P.H., & Kellert, S.R. (Eds.) Children and nature: psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations. MIT Press; Cambridge, MA
Pyle, R. M. (1993). The Thunder tree: lessons from an urban wildland. New York: Lyons Press.
Rios, J. & Brewer, J. (2014). Outdoor education and science achievement. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 13, 234-240.
Shin, M., Lee, H. and McKenna, J.W. (2016). Special education and general education preservice teachers’ co-teaching experiences: a comparative synthesis of qualitative research. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20, 21-107.
Smith, M.H. & Trexler, C.J. (2006). A University-school partnership model: Providing stakeholders with benefits to enhance science literacy. Action in Teacher Education, 27(4), 23-34.
Smith, B. L., & McCann, J. (Eds.). (2001). Re-Inventing ourselves: Interdisciplinary education, collaborative learning and experimentation in higher education. Bolton, Mass.: Anker Press.
Tal, T. & Steiner, L. (2006). Patterns of teacher-museum staff relationships: school visits to the educational center of a science museum. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 6, 25-46.
Tanner, T. (1980). Significant life experiences: a new research area in environmental education, Journal of Environmental Education, 11(4), 20-24.
Tilgner, E. (1990). Avoiding science in the elementary school. Science Education, 74, 421-431.
Udo, M., Ramsey, G. & Mallow, J. (2004). Science anxiety and gender in students taking general education science courses. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13, 435-446.
VanSickle, J. and Schaumleffel, N. (2016). Developing recreation, leisure, and sport professional competencies through practitioner/academic service engagement partnerships. Schole: A Journal of Leisure Studies & Recreation Education, 31(2), 37-56.
Wilson, S., Shulman, L. & Richert, A. (1987). 150 Different ways of knowing; representations of knowledge in teaching. In J. Calderhead (Ed.), Exploring Teachers’ Thinking. London: Cassess, 104-124.