For this project, we used the following
question to guide the curriculum of the science unit during the 6 week
Dorcas Place summer school session entitled "Take a Closer Look".
Does a project-based, multi-sensory
30 hour program, integrated with on-line research as well as field experiences,
result in sustained student motivation and commitment as well as mastery
of the specifics of our science curriculum?
We chose to base the science unit
around the theme of "water". We strongly believe that people must be educated
about the critical environmental issues confronting our planet. Most often
this mission is undertaken by the more educated, affluent, and well-connected
in society. We contend, however, that this mission must be addressed at
the grassroots level, involving people like our students who have had little
or no opportunity to study environmental issues.
We feel our curriculum more realistically
accommodated our students' learning styles as well as their particular
cultural and life experiences. This course provided engaging, user-friendly,
easy to understand accurate information about a very complex topic. In
so doing, we hoped to make essential first steps toward encouraging our
students to become informed, articulate citizens. We hope that some might
be encouraged to become more involved with the environmental issues directly
affecting the health of their communities and ultimately the world at large.