Active Learning In Primary Classrooms A Case Study Approach To Ecology

Table of Contents

Part 1 Setting the scene

Chapter 1 Setting the context: a brief overview of development of primary education
Chapter 2 Active learning: reflections on research into children’s learning and development
Chapter 3 Inclusion
Chapter 4 Starting from the Early Years
Chapter 5 Translating theory into action: the tools for effective teaching and learning

Part 2 Case studies

Introduction to the case studies

Chapter 6 'The Gruffalo Forest': getting the balance right
Chapter 7 'The Brown Paper House': harnessing curiosity
Chapter 8 'The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch': challenges and problem solving
Chapter 9 'The Farmers' Market': problem solving in a mathematical context
Chapter 10 Robots: co-operation and collaboration in the context of design and technology
Chapter 11 'Mighty UK': communication, language and literacy in a collaborative context
Chapter 12 'Art Attack': teaching the skills and connecting with an audience

Part 3 Getting started: examples of practice

Chapter 13 Sowing the seeds for active learning
Chapter 14 The planning process - stage one
Chapter 15 The planning process - stage two
Chapter 16 Further prompts


Links to Web Sites on ...

  • Learning Styles vs Teaching Styles

    describes 4 learning styles and their relationship to teaching

  • Learning Styles

    essays and many links by Richard Felder

  • E-Book: How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (1999)

    a publication by the National Academy Press of the National Academy of Sciences Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.

  • Commercial online educational site on how people learn

    examines ten different theories on how people learn including: constructivism, behaviorism, piaget's developmental theory, neuroscience, brain-based learning, learning styles, multiple intelligences, right brain/left brain thinking, communities of practice, control theory, observational learning, vygotsky and social cognition, problem-based learning

  • "Field Tested Learning Assessment Guide" (FLAG)

    a project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's National Institute for Science Education (NISE) for science, math, engineering and technology instructors

  • Douglas J. Eder's "Undergraduate Assessment & Program Review" page

    hosted by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, this phenomenal site contains hundreds of ideas, methods, and resources

  • NC State site of internet resources for outcomes assessment

    a large and thoroughly annotated list of teaching resources including links (e.g to discussion groups, archives of articles, accrediting bodies lists of more links, etc.), assessment handbooks, assessment of specific skills or content, individual institutions' assessment-related pages and much more

  • Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) - site 1


  • CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES (CATs) - site 2 - Collecting Student Feedback


  • Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Miami University of Ohio, annually in mid-November

    a great first meeting on college teaching

  • International Alliance of Teaching Scholars (IATS)

    hosts the Lilly conference and several good regional conferences

  • Chautauqua Short Courses For College [Science] Teachers

    About 85 very diverse, three-day courses each year. Supported by NSF.

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teacher Education Collaborative (STEMTEC)

    hosted by University of Massachusetts Amherst, this program is designed to improve science and math science education by "assuring that new teachers are well prepared in the relevant content and pedagogy"

  • Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)

    PKAL is an informal national alliance of individuals, institutions, and organizations committed to strengthening undergraduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education.

  • Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching through Field Stations (FIRST II)

    FIRST II is a national dissemination network funded by The National Science Foundation that provides long-term professional development for life science faculty in teaching and learning. This site includes examples of inquiry based education, case studies, innovative tools for assessment and evaluation, and inquiry based exercises

  • Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME)

    hosted by Brown and Northeastern Universities, CESAME brings together the resources of teachers, scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in order to improve school children's access to, excitement about, and understanding of mathematics and science

  • Using Data in the Classroom

    SERC geological site discusses how to engage students with data, why this may improve learning, and how to use technology in the classroom.

  • Teaching at the Entry Level

    SERC geological site gives tips on Field Labs, Interactive Lectures, Case-Based teaching, Peer Review, Role Playing, and Socratic teaching.

  • Population Biology, Evolution & BioMath Ed Links

    Internet Guide to Education-oriented Resources for Population Genetics, Population Ecology, Evolution, and Biomathematics

  • Evolutionary Ecology

    A rich site with labs, readings, simulations by Dr. Bill Tietjen

  • Resources for Scientists Teaching Science

    Compiled by Teaching Assistants from Cornell University, University of New Hampshire, and Keene State College and is funded by the National Science Foundation's Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship.

    Includes Exam Questions and ConcepTests

  • Eric Mazur’s site

    focused on: "promoting active learning in the classroom and pursuing strategies that meet the needs of diverse students."

  • "Starting to Write"

    pointers for students from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

  • Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students

    hosted by the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech

  • Paradigm Online Writing Assistant

    tips on organizing, revising, editing

  • Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization

    A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors, by Mary K. McCaskill, Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.

  • Peer Review of writing

    tips for students and Writing Assignment Ideas; includes long and short, and lab reports. Compiled by Teaching Assistants from Cornell University, University of New Hampshire, and Keene State College and is funded by the NSF's Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship.

  • Biology Writing

    Portland State []
    Dickinson College []
    Writing Lab Reports []

  • Using Data in the Classroom

    A Site for Educators and Resource Developers
    Engaging students in using data to address scientific questions has long been an integral aspect of science education. Today's information technology provides many new mechanisms for collecting, manipulating, and aggregating data. In addition, large on-line data repositories provide the opportunity for totally new kinds of student experiences. This site provides information and discussion for educators and resource developers interested in effective teaching methods and pedagogical approaches for using data in the classroom.

  • For Resource Developers

    A special goal of this site is to provide information for those developing data access and manipulation tools that will help them create resources well-suited for educational use. Developers are invited to join the using-data discussion list as a venue for developing dialog with educators who will use their products. The 'For Developers' portion of the site aggregates recommendations from the education community for product development.

  • The NASA project “Data Discovery Toolkit and Foundry”

    a good model for use of large, real-time data sets for inquiry-based learning

  • A Climate Change Atlas For 80 Forest Tree Species Of The Eastern United States

    Anantha Prasad, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station
    This is a tree species distribution atlas. It contains information for 80 species in the eastern half of the United States (east of the 100th meridian). The site contains distribution maps and tables for different climate change scenarios, life-history and disturbance attributes, ecological attributes, forest type maps, sorted lists of species importance values (by state and county) for different climate change scenarios, and more.
    [] (Archived Version)

  • International Research Institute for Climate Prediction / Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Climate Data Library

    This site offers interactive manipulation of data holdings within the Climate Data Library of the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction/ Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (IRI/LDEO). Data searches can be conducted by keywords, by Category, or by the local dataset name. []

  • Online Trends - A Compendium of Data on Global Change

    This website provides access to online databases containing information on atmospheric gases, specific greenhouse gases, and climatic variables. Each category contains a list of reports or data sets, which are focused on that particular topic. This site offers information that dates back into the 1800's and is an excellent resource for quantifying changing atmospheric conditions.

  • Atmospheric CO2 concentrations (ppmv) derived from in situ air samples collected at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii

    Keeling Charles, University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    Displays the monthly atmospheric concentrations of CO2 expressed in parts per million by volume (ppmv) for the years 1958 through 2000. Values are reported in the 1997 SIO manometric mole fraction scale. Missing values are denoted by -99.99. In years where one monthly value is missing, annual values were calculated by substituting a fit value (4-harmonics with gain factor and spline) for that month and then averaging the twelve monthly values.

  • NASA GMDC Learning Center

    Lola Olsen, NASA's Global Change Master Directory
    NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) is an online card catalog of data sets covering just about every scientific area of global change research. The website includes downloadable datasets, models and materials for various aspects of global change and the earth system. Data is grouped by category, including atmospheric, oceanic, geologic and biologic data. Examples of available data are global earthquake data, the carbon dioxide record from the Mauna Loa Observatory and monthly global surface temperature. There are also lists of links to more data from a variety of sources.
    [] (Archived Version)

  • Long Term Ecological Research Sites (LTER)

    Data are one of the most valuable products of the LTER program. The goal of the Network is to provide fast, effective, and open access to LTER data. Over 2000 ecological datasets are part of a network-wide information system designed to facilitate data exchange and integration to meet the needs of ecological scientists.

  • Global scale measurements from Earth Observatory

    includes data sets on primary production, day land temperature, night land temperature, vegetation

  • Real-Time Water Data

    This site provides access to streamflow. precipitation, groundwater, and water quality data for USGS (United States Geological Survey) streamflow monitoring sites around the United States. The data can be searched using an interactive map or by state.

  • USGS List of Nonindigenous Aquatic Species


  • National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA)

    This United States Geological Survey (USGS) program addresses water quality in the US. The goal is to develop long-term consistent and comparable information on streams, ground water, and aquatic ecosystems to support sound management and policy decisions. The program assesses over 50 river basins and aquifer systems, and helps to inform decision makers about the state of US water resources. Issues addressed include how and why water quality varies across the nation, trace elements, pesticides, nutrients, volatile organic chemicals (VOC's), water protection and management, and human health. This site links the user to articles, maps, data sets, and other sources of information. A glossary defines over 150 water related terms.

    This site provides information on both floral and faunal species found in aquatic areas in the United States. It explains what a nonindigenous species is and how the presence of these species may affect the health of natural ecosystems. Users may search the site for specific non-native species by selecting from a list of organisms, then specifying a drainage or region. The quantity and quality of information provided for a species varies depending on the amount of research attention focused on that individual species or type of organism. The home page of this site offers links to recent news and reports regarding the status or discovery of nonindigenous species.
    [] (Archived Version)

  • PLANTS Database

    The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories. It includes names, plant symbols, checklists, distributional data, species abstracts, characteristics, images, plant links, references, crop information, and automated tools. PLANTS reduces costs by minimizing duplication and making information exchange possible across agencies and disciplines.

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