Increasing student success and participation in science using place-based education
This research project was initiated to determine if using place-based educational strategies had increased students' understanding and attitude while studying specific science topics. During the nine-week study, I used a variety of place-based educational approaches to teach students about ecosystems, biomes (large scale ecosystems), and weather and climate. I applied several qualitative and quantitative data collection instruments during the treatment period. Quantifiable data collected showed evidence that growth in conceptual understanding and students' ability to transfer and apply knowledge of place to areas of greater geographic distance had occurred. Qualitative statements revealed a positive increase in students' attitude and interest towards science lessons during the implementation of place-based methods. As a result of this study, it was concluded that the use of place-based educational strategies while teaching specific science themes does enhance students' understanding and attitude toward the learning of science concepts.