PDI-10: Linking Scientific Inquiry to Students' Lives Using Geographic Tools and Perspectives
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Location: New Orleans—Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, room 347
Science Area: Integrated/General
Intended Audience: Middle Level; High School; Informal Education; Supervision/Administration; General
Recommended Pathway Sessions
National Geographic Society, Division of Education & Children’s Programs
Kathleen Schwille, Director of Program Development, National Geographic Society, Division of Education & Children’s Programs
Kim Hulse, Director of Geography Education, National Geographic Society, Division of Education & Children’s Programs
- How can science teaching and learning be more connected to real world issues?
- How can scientific inquiry be enhanced by geographic perspectives?
- What strategies and tools can teachers use to help students understand why scientific phenomena occur in certain locations?
- How do systems thinking, geography, and science work together for more comprehensive learning of complex science topics?
Bring the world to your students by enhancing your inquiry science with geographic perspectives. Explore how science topics in ecology and in Earth and environmental science courses can be connected to your student’s lives, and issues in the world, by linking science with geography: Why do things happen where they do? How will the things that happen in one place affect other places? Help your students focus not only on specific systems, but on the interactions among systems, based on their geographic relationships. Learn to use geographic tools and techniques to lead your students through inquiry on important current issues in our world and in their own backyards.
During this professional development institute, you will explore several examples of how science can be taught using geographic perspectives, thus enhancing inquiry science and connecting science learning more closely to students’ lives. You will learn to frame scientific learning using a geographic approach that includes scale, data layering, problem solving, interdisciplinary approaches, systems thinking and more. Work in small groups will allow for focused efforts to improve your own standards-based science units using these geographic skills.
This professional development institute will help you prepare your students for an increasingly interconnected world, where the answers to scientific questions depend not only on what is happening, but where it is happening. The ability to use geographic perspectives is becoming a critical skill for success in the globalized but culturally fragmented and environmentally threatened economy of the early 21st century. A scientifically literate society must be able to understand data that is often geographic in nature, and be able to predict how causes and effects can impact across various geographic scales and integrated systems.
This PDI is intended for teachers of Ecology, Earth and Environmental Science, curriculum developers, administrators, and others interested in infusing geographic inquiry into science teaching in grades 5-12. Participants will learn to use geographic skills and perspectives to connect science learning to students’ lives and issues in the world.
The National Geographic Society has been travelling the world, inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. National Geographic's Mission Programs support critical expeditions and scientific fieldwork, encourage geography education for students, promote natural and cultural conservation, and inspire audiences through new media, vibrant exhibitions, and live events. Education & Children’s Programs, which is part of Mission Programs, reaches thousands of teachers through professional development opportunities at Society headquarters and through a network of state-based geographic Alliances that support teachers of science, social studies, geography, and more with innovative professional development programs. National Geographic’s work with teachers is funded by endowments and a combination of national and state grants from various sources.
Participants should bring samples of curriculum materials that they would like to improve, or information about geographic issues in student’s lives that they would like to connect to their science teaching.