The Use of a Mock Environment Summit to Support Learning about Global Climate Change

Catherine Gautier, Stacy Rebich, University of California Santa Barbara, University of California Santa Barbara

NOTE: This is a large file, 26.6 mb in size! This article advocates the use of a Learner-Centered Environment (LCE) to teach Earth System Science. In this instance, LCE takes the form of a mock environmental summit in which students play the roles of country representatives and participate in activities such as writings, class discussions, presentations and negotiations. Rubrics developed for each activity are used both to assess student learning and to communicate feedback to students about their work. The study suggests that the adoption of an LCE enhanced student learning of content and critical skills. The frequent student presentations were found to play a major role in student learning. The rubrics served as scaffolding for knowledge construction, helped students to self-assess and maintain their quality of work, and allowed instructors to provide quick and efficient feedback. The development of basic learner-centered tools and teaching practices will help Earth System Science instructors provide learning environments most suitable for their discipline.

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Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Graduate/Professional
Topics: ClimateKeywords: Cognitive gains, Science process skills, Teaching practices