Rodger Hauge: Using Soils and Society at Eastern Washington University
About this Course
An introductory methods course intended for pre-service K–8 teachers.
Syllabus (Microsoft Word 155kB Aug27 15)
A Success Story in Building Student Engagement
I implemented the pilot three different times. The first experience was the most successful. It was the instructional mode that determined this success.
My Experience Teaching with InTeGrate MaterialsDuring the first pilot I provided a lot of background information. I worked with the students as individuals, small groups, and as a whole class to integrate their lessons, artifacts, maps, images, and other Kit and lab materials. We frequently talked about the progress and the relation of the materials and processes to their work. The Kit was presented on the last day of class. The students were engaged and did a marvelous job. The third pilot was done by the book and was done in only three weeks. Little depth of background knowledge could be shared. The results were less than gratifying.
Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course
The module was introduced on the first day of class. The soils activities were accomplished in the second week of class. An inquiry activity was done in week one with the soils activities done in week two. Mapping, weather, and geography topics were spread throughout the quarter. Frequent individual, group, and whole class discussions helped the students develop their kit.
I used formative methods of assessment with my pilots for the soils activities. It was the beginning of the quarter. Many students had difficulties with lab procedures—soil was a brand new concept for them. Treating this process with formative evaluation worked. I used the rubrics to evaluate their Kits. I looked closely at their lesson plans, reviewed their materials and classroom activities, and evaluated how the Kit met their goals.
Using the module as a quarter-long theme works. The instructor has time to interact with his/her students. The students have the time to do quality work and to develop their own themes. They get the chance to see how soil fits into Earth systems, plus how soil is bound up in our society. They also get to communicate between themselves and reinforce all the parts of the creation they are assembling. A three-week segment grafted onto the syllabus is not appropriate.