Facilitating Meaningful Learning Experiences for Middle School Students in Short, Single Visits to an Educational Farm
Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair
Secondary Advisor/Reader One
The research question addressed in this capstone is: How can we use Burgess Farm as an effective, engaging teaching tool that takes advantage of students’ short, single visits to the site? The author developed a series of activities that complemented students’ other studies while encompassing key components of engaging work (Newmann, 1992; Thomashow, 1995). Seasonal teaching staff members selected from these activities when visiting the farm with students; following completion of an activity, each student filled in a card printed with “Today at Burgess Farm, I learned…”. The author categorized each student’s response both broadly (animals, plants) and by specific topic (e.g. adaptations, handling), then analyzed the responses for trends based on which activities the students experienced. The animals proved to be the most memorable aspect of the farm for the vast majority of students; additionally, more than half of the students reported learning about adaptations.
Laidlaw, Tara, "Facilitating Meaningful Learning Experiences for Middle School Students in Short, Single Visits to an Educational Farm" (2014). School of Education Student Capstone Theses and Dissertations. 45.
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