Environmental Studies Program

 

Date of this Version

Spring 5-2011

Abstract

This study is focused on creating a place based education program. Place based education programs provide many benefits at the personal level with the students (PBEEC). The study was completed at Norris Elementary School where the students have access to the “Norris Forest” which is a planted forest with a walk way through the trees. Some of the trees are labeled for the students to identify and others are not. A graph of the unlabelled trees has been included for the students or the teachers to use.

This project incorporates activities that will engage the students in order to teach them more about nature and the environment around them. Trees are the main emphasis of this project. When asking the students what came to their mind when thinking about nature, almost all students said they thought of trees and often it was the first picture they drew. The teaching activities are a culmination of ideas from other sources that have been modified to fit the environment of Norris Elementary School.

The finding of this study showed the benefits utilizing a place based educational program. The students were able to connect personally with the activities, which generated more interest in and better understandings of the goals after each activity. When the students were being taught about the things they had in their own backyard and saw on a daily basis they were batter able to connect and understand the concepts involved in the activities.

This paper will provide reasons why a place based educational program is very beneficial for both teachers and the students.