Sense of place and place-based introductory geoscience teaching for American Indian and Alaska native undergraduates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Places are localities given meaning by human experiences in them. Sense of place refers to a set of meanings of and attachments to places that are held by individuals or by groups. The cultures and educational philosophies of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples reflect rich senses of the places that make up their traditional homelands. However, sense of place does not manifest itself in proportionate enrollments in undergraduate geoscience by American Indians and Alaska Natives. This is because mainstream geoscience teaching emphasizes global syntheses over exploration and in-depth understanding of places that have prior meaning for Indigenous students, and may even depict such places in culturally-inappropriate ways. Many teachers and researchers with experience in Native educational systems recommend a greater emphasis on the study of local places, synthesis of local cultural knowledge, and community-directed activities in science education. Such a "place-based" approach is used by a small number of school systems, nearly all outside of Native communities. Place-based geoscience teaching could potentially enhance science literacy among American Indian, Alaska Native, and other underrepresented minority students, and bring more of them into the geoscience profession. However, this hypothesis has not yet been rigorously tested. Empirical and descriptive studies of place attachment and meaning among different student populations, and clearer definition of place-based teaching, are prerequisite to more authentic place-based geoscience courses and programs. Five characteristics of place-based geoscience teaching are identified here and illustrated with suggestions for implementation in diverse educational settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Volume53
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Fingerprint

sense of place
American Indian
teaching
student
Teaching
literacy
educational setting
school system
science
Homelands
educational system
community
experience
profession
minority
education
teacher
Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

@article{532b4f22ebb34f33ae24ccc0105ebc3d,
title = "Sense of place and place-based introductory geoscience teaching for American Indian and Alaska native undergraduates",
abstract = "Places are localities given meaning by human experiences in them. Sense of place refers to a set of meanings of and attachments to places that are held by individuals or by groups. The cultures and educational philosophies of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples reflect rich senses of the places that make up their traditional homelands. However, sense of place does not manifest itself in proportionate enrollments in undergraduate geoscience by American Indians and Alaska Natives. This is because mainstream geoscience teaching emphasizes global syntheses over exploration and in-depth understanding of places that have prior meaning for Indigenous students, and may even depict such places in culturally-inappropriate ways. Many teachers and researchers with experience in Native educational systems recommend a greater emphasis on the study of local places, synthesis of local cultural knowledge, and community-directed activities in science education. Such a {"}place-based{"} approach is used by a small number of school systems, nearly all outside of Native communities. Place-based geoscience teaching could potentially enhance science literacy among American Indian, Alaska Native, and other underrepresented minority students, and bring more of them into the geoscience profession. However, this hypothesis has not yet been rigorously tested. Empirical and descriptive studies of place attachment and meaning among different student populations, and clearer definition of place-based teaching, are prerequisite to more authentic place-based geoscience courses and programs. Five characteristics of place-based geoscience teaching are identified here and illustrated with suggestions for implementation in diverse educational settings.",
author = "Steven Semken",
year = "2005",
month = "3",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "53",
pages = "149--157",
journal = "Journal of Geoscience Education",
issn = "1089-9995",
publisher = "National Association of Geoscience Teachers Inc.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sense of place and place-based introductory geoscience teaching for American Indian and Alaska native undergraduates

AU - Semken, Steven

PY - 2005/3

Y1 - 2005/3

N2 - Places are localities given meaning by human experiences in them. Sense of place refers to a set of meanings of and attachments to places that are held by individuals or by groups. The cultures and educational philosophies of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples reflect rich senses of the places that make up their traditional homelands. However, sense of place does not manifest itself in proportionate enrollments in undergraduate geoscience by American Indians and Alaska Natives. This is because mainstream geoscience teaching emphasizes global syntheses over exploration and in-depth understanding of places that have prior meaning for Indigenous students, and may even depict such places in culturally-inappropriate ways. Many teachers and researchers with experience in Native educational systems recommend a greater emphasis on the study of local places, synthesis of local cultural knowledge, and community-directed activities in science education. Such a "place-based" approach is used by a small number of school systems, nearly all outside of Native communities. Place-based geoscience teaching could potentially enhance science literacy among American Indian, Alaska Native, and other underrepresented minority students, and bring more of them into the geoscience profession. However, this hypothesis has not yet been rigorously tested. Empirical and descriptive studies of place attachment and meaning among different student populations, and clearer definition of place-based teaching, are prerequisite to more authentic place-based geoscience courses and programs. Five characteristics of place-based geoscience teaching are identified here and illustrated with suggestions for implementation in diverse educational settings.

AB - Places are localities given meaning by human experiences in them. Sense of place refers to a set of meanings of and attachments to places that are held by individuals or by groups. The cultures and educational philosophies of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples reflect rich senses of the places that make up their traditional homelands. However, sense of place does not manifest itself in proportionate enrollments in undergraduate geoscience by American Indians and Alaska Natives. This is because mainstream geoscience teaching emphasizes global syntheses over exploration and in-depth understanding of places that have prior meaning for Indigenous students, and may even depict such places in culturally-inappropriate ways. Many teachers and researchers with experience in Native educational systems recommend a greater emphasis on the study of local places, synthesis of local cultural knowledge, and community-directed activities in science education. Such a "place-based" approach is used by a small number of school systems, nearly all outside of Native communities. Place-based geoscience teaching could potentially enhance science literacy among American Indian, Alaska Native, and other underrepresented minority students, and bring more of them into the geoscience profession. However, this hypothesis has not yet been rigorously tested. Empirical and descriptive studies of place attachment and meaning among different student populations, and clearer definition of place-based teaching, are prerequisite to more authentic place-based geoscience courses and programs. Five characteristics of place-based geoscience teaching are identified here and illustrated with suggestions for implementation in diverse educational settings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=17744399026&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=17744399026&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:17744399026

VL - 53

SP - 149

EP - 157

JO - Journal of Geoscience Education

JF - Journal of Geoscience Education

SN - 1089-9995

IS - 2

ER -