Our class discussion on Tuesday about potential praxis projects made me realize how much we’ve learned throughout the semester. I must admit it wasn’t an easy journey getting through all of the readings that we did, but now that I have some distance from them and a way to ground them in a real world experience, I’ve realized how relevant they are to so many different topics. Applying them to my praxis project, they are almost too relevant — it seems like all of the theories we learned about fit in with what I’m studying, which could be helpful but also confusing.
I’m doing my praxis project on Environmental Education in Douglas County. Initially I thought this would relate most to our week on Knowledge, but after some further thought it actually relates to all four weeks. Below, I’ll explain my thinking.
Knowledge: I thought since the project is about science education, this week’s material would relate the most. Looking back on readings, I think I could connect it to Cartwright’s piece on counting beyond two, Livingstone’s article on the importance of place in science, and the Lele and Norgaard piece on interdisciplinary science education.
Reality: Students are studying ecological realities with the environmental education program. I’m also proposing the need to combine nature and culture, similar to the Douglas County Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Ethics: Facts and values come into play here when thinking about what should and shouldn’t be taught to students. Usually science is thought of as value-free, just factual realities, but when adding nature/culture and interdisciplinary perspectives, the science that students learn becomes value-laden.
I’ve gotten in contact with one of the education coordinators for Alder Creek Community Forest, and will send her some questions to answer via email tomorrow morning. I’m planning to ask about current education practices, what community issues she sees most pertinent, and if she thinks science can be mixed with values.
I’m still not sure exactly what form the project will take, but I’m excited to connect it to what we’ve been learning in my Science Education class. Hopefully I can be somewhat helpful to the education coordinators if I develop any ideas, so I will be in contact with them about what could be most useful to them.