Based off of our experiences this past weekend in Douglas County (read about our trip here), I came up with a potential idea for a praxis project. There were so many interesting options to explore, but I wanted to make sure the project I chose was doable within the timeframe we were allotted (a little less than two weeks before presenting at Festival of Scholars!). Initially I was interested in the essentialism of the growing homeless population in Douglas County and how the timber industry has affected mental health in the area. but besides its mention by Commissioner Chris, I couldn’t find much else about it so it could have been difficult to carry that project out.
Another idea that I have is based off of the environmental education programs that run in the Alder Creek Community Forest. I’ve been thinking a lot about the role and purpose of science education this past semester in my Science Education in the 21st Century class, and one thing that we’ve been discussing is the view of science as being value-free, but the importance and inevitability of instilling value in teaching science. I thought this connected well with our readings about Science, facts, and values. It’s important for students to get the “facts” and “realities” about the forest ecosystem, especially as young people growing up in a resource dependent community. But instead of solely learning about the ecological side of their surroundings, why not also instill a few values about the importance of certain issues in their community? This could be an interesting way to apply Cartwright’s article, “The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science” into practice.
Here are potential focus and framing questions for my praxis project:
- Framing: How can we achieve a balance between fact-based and value-based science education? To what extent should scientific values be taught to students?
- Focus: How can current events in Douglas County be translated into relevant science curriculum?
- Methodology: Interview education coordinators, analyze curriculum on ACCF website, research GLOBE program, rhetorical analysis/factor analysis on Douglas County newspapers for clues on what current events are important in the community