Capstone Project Title
This capstone paper and project seek to answer the question: how does learning about climate change in an outdoor classroom impact middle schoolers’ attitudes and understandings toward climate change? The most effective methods to teaching climate change include a place-based, multidisciplinary approach with high levels of inquiry and engagement. When students learn outdoors, they also engage in place-based learning that is highly inquiry based. Combining climate change education with outdoor education is an effective way to approach climate change education. Through use of the Learning Cycle and Understanding by Design, a unit on ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity, and ecosystem services was developed. This fifteen day unit is to be completed entirely in an outdoor classroom while still in the formal middle school setting. The unit meets the middle school Next Generation Science Standards for life science and includes a summative assessment. While none of the life science standards directly address climate change, students learn about climate change through threats to ecosystems and biodiversity. This project provides a framework for further development of outdoor units addressing climate change under NGSS.
Curriculum, Environmental Studies, Science, Climate Change
Peterson, Kelly, "The Impact of Climate Change Education in an Outdoor Classroom on Middle School Students' Attitudes and Understandings Towards Climate Change" (2022). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 881.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects