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Teaching Section

Clary, Renee M. [1].

Plants and the Planet on Which They Live: An EarthScholars Research Group Integrated Biogeology Reflection.

In 2002, botanist James Wandersee and geologist Renee Clary founded the EarthScholars Research Group for quality and effective integrated botanical/biological and geological instruction. The EarthScholars’ two areas of research specialization are (1) fundamental understanding, integrated design, and improvement of geological and biological (with emphasis on botanical) education programs at public informal science education sites, specifically fossil parks, nature parks, arboreta, and botanic gardens; and (2) the improvement of formal geology and biology classroom instruction at middle school, high school, and college levels through instructional innovations based on archive-based, visual, and graphic research that is informed by the histories of geology and biology, and based upon the learning theory of human constructivism.
Through more than a decade of research, the EarthScholars Group researched, investigated, and developed multiple constructs through which effective integrated science education could include both botany/biology and geology principles. The group produced 52 peer-reviewed journal articles, 16 book chapters, 49 electronic publications and 156 research presentations that attested to the effective integration of botanical and geological constructs. Some of the EarthScholars’ integrated topics include Linnaean classification, MicroWorld studies with pollen and microfossils, interesting episodes from the history of science, citizen science investigations, stromatolites, seed banks, creative natural selection activities, fossils, the Coal Cycle, coprolite investigations, “green” root beer investigations, amber, petrified wood, volcanic eruptions and repopulation of decimated areas, and sense of place writing templates.
In 2013, US Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; Achieve, 2013) were released and promoted an integrated, interdisciplinary view of STEM education. This further affirmed EarthScholars Group’s mission, which has researched and conducted integrated STEM for more than a decade, for improved public understanding of botany and geology. This session is dedicated to the memory of the late James Wandersee (1946 – 2014), founding partner and co-director of EarthScholars Research Group.


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1 - Mississippi State University, Geosciences, P.O. Box 1705, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA

Keywords:
botany education
EarthScholars Research Group
human constructivist theory
informal education
integrated science education
Next Generation Science Standards.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PTE002
Abstract ID:65
Candidate for Awards:None


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