Focusing on the Southwest Desert ecoregion, this conference addresses the need for research on effective instructional methods that can be used to support students' science learning in school gardens. The conference will lead to the development of an ecoregional model for garden-based science teaching (GBST) that builds on regional ecological and cultural resources to engage teachers and students in richer and more relevant science learning experiences.
About Me (Bio):
Steve Zuiker is an assistant professor of educational technology and the learning sciences in the division of educational innovation and leadership. His research is broadly based on the notion that ideas are only as important as what we can do with them. Learning environments, like gardens and video games, as well as research findings, like scholarly journal articles, each relates to real-world contexts in which they can be both useful and used. Professor Zuiker's research agenda explores how to design activities, resources, and projects that interconnect classrooms and schoolyards, real-world settings and digital video games, and ultimately, educational practice and educational research. His research and publications advance two goals related to what we can do with ideas. First, his research develops and improves learning and teaching systems in K-12 science education, often utilizing digital technologies. For example, environmental sensor networks in gardens and virtual environmental scenarios in video games can be tools to support students' meaningful engagement with science in classrooms, schoolyards, and backyards as well as other sites of learning. Second, he investigates how educational research itself is a system of learning and teaching in which research reports remain one among many means of sharing ideas and doing things with them. Professor Zuiker considers how educational practitioners and researchers organize these systems of learning and teaching and how digital technologies can enhance the social relationships through which education stakeholders inspire and enable insight and mutual understanding.