America's Largest Classroom: What We Learn from Our National Parks

America's Largest Classroom: What We Learn from Our National Parks

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Overview

Over the past 100 years, visitor learning at America’s national parks has grown and evolved. Today, there are over 400 National Park Service (NPS) sites, representing over eighty million acres. Sites exist in every US state and territory and are located on land, at sea, in remote areas, and in major urban centers. Every year, more than 300 million people visit national parks, and several million of them are children engaged in one of many educational programs hosted by the NPS.

America’s Largest Classrooms offers insight and practical advice for improving educational outreach at national parks as well as suggestions for classroom educators on how to meaningfully incorporate parks into their curricula. Via a wide collection of case studies—ranging from addressing inclusivity at parks and public lands to teaching about science and social issues—this book illustrates innovations and solutions that will be of interest to nature interpreters, outdoor educators, and policy makers, as well as professors in the sciences writ large.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520340640
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 04/21/2020
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 310
Sales rank: 1,205,505
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jessica L. Thompson is Associate Professor in the College of Business at Northern Michigan University. 

Ana K. Houseal is Associate Professor and Science Outreach Educator in the Science and Mathematics Teaching Center at the University of Wyoming.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Foreword. National Parks: “America’s Best” Outdoor Classrooms
Milton Chen

Preface
Acknowledgments

SECTION I. THE LONG VIEW OF LEARNING IN THE PARKS

1 Dynamic Learning Landscapes: The Evolution of Education in Our National Parks
Julia Washburn

2 Commentary: Perspectives on Heritage Leadership 
Theresa Coble

3 Invoking the Spirit of History on the Journey through Hallowed Ground
James A. Percoco

4 Two Different Ways of Knowing the Glacier Area 
Donal Carbaugh

SECTION II. FEEDBACK LOOPS: SYSTEMS AND SCIENCE LEARNING

5 Learning about Climate Change in Our National Parks
Shawn Davis and Jessica L. Thompson

6 Place-Based Education at Teton Science Schools: Inspiring Curiosity, Engagement, and Leadership in National Parks and Beyond
Kevin Krasnow, Nate McClennen, Amanda Kern, Patrick Leary, and Greg Peck

7 Three-Dimensional Learning: “Upping the Game” in Citizen Science Projects
Ana K. Houseal

8 Mentoring Mountain Raingers: Beyond Basic Hydrological Field Research in the Great Smoky Mountains
Douglas K. Miller

SECTION III. HEALTH AND SELF: EMPOWERING LEARNING IN PARKS

9 Learning Environmental Psychology in the National Parks
Donna K. McMillan

10 Can Signage Influence Healthy Behavior? The Case of Catoctin Mountain National Park
Mallika Bose, Lara Nagle, Jacob Benfield, Heather Costigan, Jeremy Wimpey, and B. Derrick Taff

11 Learning Historic Places with Diverse Populations: An Exploratory Study of Student Perceptions
JeBérénice L. View and Andrea Guiden

12 “I Felt Like a Scientist!”: Accessing America’s National Parks on Every Campus
Natalie Bursztyn, Richard Goode, and Colleen McDonough

SECTION IV. PARTNERING FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEARNERS

13 Place-Based Learning Fosters Engagement and Opportunities for Innovative Partnerships
Susan Newton

14 A Partnership Model of Education at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Deb Yandala, Katie Wright, and Jesús Sánchez

15 Pura Vida Inspires Diversity and Engagement at Grand Teton National Park
Teddi (Hofmann) Freedman

16 What Really “Matters” at Stephen T. Mather Building Arts and Craftsmanship High School
Deborah Shanley and Lois Adams-Rodgers

17 Learning Historic Places with Diverse Populations: Making the Case for Teacher-Ranger Professional
Development
JeBérénice L. View and Paula Cristina Azevedo

SECTION V. STRATEGIC INTENTION FOR PARK LEARNING AND PRACTICE

18 Lessons Learned from Museums: Family Learning in National Parks
Colleen Bourque and Ana K. Houseal

19 Identifying Outcomes for Environmental Education at National Parks
Robert B. Powell, Marc J. Stern, and B. Troy Frensley

20 Valuing Education and Learning in the National Parks
Tim Marlowe, Linda J. Bilmes, and John Loomis

21 Commentary: National Parks as Places for Free-Choice Learning
Martin Storksdieck and John Falk

Afterword
Jonathan B. Jarvis

Index

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