Educators in Las Vegas, Nevada have a unique chance to cultivate ecoliteracy in their students.
Ecoliteracyis the comprehension of the natural world and how humans interact with it. It is a critical skill for students to develop, as it can help them make informed decisions about their environment and how to protect it. To assist educators in Las Vegas teach ecoliteracy, Sonya Wisdom, Ph.
D. in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in science education at Kent State University, has identified a variety of teaching strategies based on student levels of development and on brain-based research. Wisdom has extensive experience teaching high school science for fourteen years in Athens (Georgia) and Nassau (Bahamas). She later joined the faculty of the University of the Bahamas as an assistant professor of science education.
Her research interests include the curriculum decisions of science education teachers and helping teachers to design and execute action research related to their practice. She is also interested in the use of 3D printing technology and the development of ecological literacy in scientific methods courses for teachers in training. Wisdom works with high school teachers and their students in Northeast Ohio and the Dominican Republic to develop service-learning projects on local and global environmental issues. These projects can help students build empathy for their environment by providing direct contact with other living beings, such as keeping plants and animals alive in the classroom, taking trips to natural areas, zoos, botanical gardens and animal rescue centers, or involving students in field projects such as habitat restoration. For example, first-grade students at Park Day School in Oakland (California) spent several months transforming their classroom into an ocean habitat full of corals, jellyfish, leopard sharks, octopuses and deep-sea divers (or, at least, facsimiles on paper of them). This project was a profound learning experience for these young students. Educators in Las Vegas have a great opportunity to foster ecoliteracy in their students.
By utilizing Wisdom's teaching strategies based on student levels of development and brain-based research, they can create meaningful learning experiences that will help their students understand the natural world and how humans interact with it.