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Seaquaria in Schools:Partnerships in Learning and Professional Development for Sustained Environmental Education

Principal investigators

Catherine Carolsfeld, MSc, Co-founder & Owner of WestWind Sealab Supplies; Co-founder & Director of Seaquaria in Schools. She has been involved a variety of national and international research and education projects focusing on enquiry-based learning that extends beyond the classroom and into the community. http://www.worldfish.org/associates.htm#cathy

Joachim (Yogi) Carolsfeld, PhD., Executive Director of World Fisheries Trust; He is active in numerous international and national projects that are dedicated to the equitable and sustainable use and conservation of aquatic biodiversity, through research that addresses both scientific and social issues to effect policy change. http://www.worldfish.org/staff.htm#yogi

 

Research Assistants

  • Elli Reilander, B.Sc. Biology (Co-op), University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C
  • Mary Holmes, M.Ed. (Curricular Studies), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.; Head Teacher, Pacific Heights Elementary School.
  • Patsy McCarter, M.A. (Administration and Supervision), University of Phoenix Distance Education Program. Teacher, South Island Distance Education School (SIDES)
  • Matthias Starzner, M.A. (Environmental Education and Communications), Royal Roads University, Victoria, B.C.
  • Michèle Tomasino, currently enrolled in M.A. (Environmental Education Curriculum Development), University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C..; French Immersion/First Nations Teacher and Department Head, Modern Languages, École secondaire Esquimalt High School.

 

Description

Seaquaria in Schools (Seaquaria) is a British Columbia-based, non-profit environmental education (EE) program that fosters science and environmental learning through hands-on experiences with marine organisms in a school setting. Its overarching vision is to contribute to the development of a generation of youth who feel a real (emotional) connection to their community and environment, and have the tools and understanding they need to be engaged and responsible citizens. We do this through the use of an environmental tool, the “Seaquarium”: a chilled, saltwater aquarium that is placed in schools and cared for by students, providing a living window into the natural world, and a catalyst for learning. The aquaria are used to weave environmental awareness into the students' everyday lives, allowing teachers and students to easily meet learning outcomes in increasingly more engaging and meaningful ways. This practice supports whole ecosystems and cross-curricular approaches that highlight Canada’s rich marine, freshwater and human resources; encourage strong, working collaborations; and model active learning processes.

Since 2007, support from the Pacific CRYSTAL Project has helped us to enliven this community of practice through professional development workshops and action research efforts. Teachers, students, marine biologists, earth and ocean scientists, community professionals and an army of volunteers have all collaborated to set agendas; develop lessons and activities specific to elementary, middle, and secondary levels; determine educational goals; and contribute to ongoing evaluation research efforts.

The unique combination of high-interest authentic learning activities, ongoing support for teachers and volunteers, and peer-mentoring opportunities, have contributed to the development of a wealth of cross-curricular and outreach materials that is shared amongst this group and beyond. The Teachers Support Guide identifies strategies such as: participative learning - students and teachers learning together; teachers modeling learning processes; peer-teaching; research & enquiry vs. rote learning; interdisciplinary and integrated learning; fostering a positive school-wide learning atmosphere; and building linkages to local field, environmental and community programs. The successes and challenges of weaving EE into the fabric of K-12 curricula have also provided insights into how to achieve long-term sustainability through active community partnerships, and how this approach might be applied elsewhere.

More

Publications

  • Carolsfeld, C. & Carolsfeld, J. (2008). Seaquaria in schools. Establishing Guidelines for Environmental Education Based on Environmental Ethics, Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research, Konan University, Kyoto, Japan. (Link)
  • Carolsfeld, C. Carolsfeld, J., Holmes, M. Burley, L., & N. Wright (2008). Seaquaria in Schools: A Novel Cornerstone to Integrated Learning. (revised edition of Seaquaria poster, also sponsored in part by Victoria Foundation grant) (Poster)
  • Carolsfeld, C., Carolsfeld, J & E. Reilander (2007). Seaquaria in Schools: An Educator's Guidebook and Manual.
  • Carolsfeld, C., Carolsfeld, J. & S. Lampe (2008). Seaquaria in Schools: An Educator's Guidebook and Manual. (Revised edition and posting to the World Fisheries Trust website made possible with additional support from the Victoria Foundation.) Seaquaria at www.worldfish.org/seaquaria.htm
  • Holmes, M. (2008) Changing Curriculum Delivery to Improve the Learning Environment in a Seaquarium Classroom. UBC Directed Studies paper – with co-supervision by David Zandvliet, SFU/Pacific CRYSTAL
  • Holmes, M. (2010) Gently Down the Stream: Reflections on a Seaquarium Journey. Final Graduation paper for M.Ed. UBC.
  • Starzner, M.J. (2010) Listening to Kids: Developing an Inclusive Evaluation Process for Environmental Education Thesis. Masters of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication. Royal Roads University. Pp. 138.
  • Seaquaria Brochure, 2010
  • Seaquaria Project Outline and Description

Promotional Materials

Conference Presentation

  • Holmes, M. Seaquaria in Schools: Reflections on our Practice” (Presented at UBC Investigating our Practices Workshop in May, 2007)
  • Holmes, M., Carolsfeld, C. & T. Carolsfeld. (2008) Seaquaria in Schools: A Cornerstone for Integrated Education. Participative presentation at Catalyst Conference for Science Educators, April 2008, Kelowna, B.C.). (link to poster)
  • Carolsfeld, C., Van der Flier Keller, E. & T. Bullard. (May 2009) C.S.I., B.C. Creative (& Cool!) Science Investigations, B.C: (May 2009) All day workshop presented at B.C. School District 79 Professional Development “Train the Brain” Conference, May 2009, Mill Bay, B.C. (Note: This workshop is also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Multi-disciplinary Science Project) (link to Workshop Manual)
  • Carolsfeld, C. & M. Holmes. (2010) Seaquaria in Schools: Bringing the Ocean into Schools and Schools to the Ocean. Interactive poster presentation at NAME (Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators) “No Educator Left Inside: Exploring the Ocean and Watershed” Conference, July 2010, Florence, Oregon. (link to poster)
  • Carolsfeld, C. & M. Holmes*. (2010) Seaquaria in Schools: Bringing the Ocean into Schools and Schools to the Ocean. Interactive poster presentation at EECOM (Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication) 2010 National Conference, May 2010, Burnaby B.C.
  • Van der Flier-Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C., Holmes, M. & T. Carolsfeld. (April 2008) Integrating Earth and Ocean Sciences with Biology (Presentation at Catalyst Conference for Science Educators in Kelowna B.C. as part of Pacific CRYSTAL team presentation) (Note: also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Integrated Science Project)
  • Van der Flier Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C. & T. Bullard. (2010) Exploring Connections Between Earth Science and Biology for Environmental Education. Interactive poster presentation at NAME (Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators) “No Educator Left Inside: Exploring the Ocean and Watershed” Conference, July 2010, Florence, Oregon. (note: also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Project Multi-disciplinary Science Project) (link to poster)
  • Van der Flier-Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C., & Bullard, T. (2010). Exploring Connections Between Earth Science and Biology for Environmental Education. Interactive Poster presentation at EECOM (Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication) 2010 Annual National Conference, May 2010, Burnaby, BC. (link to poster)
  • Reis, G., Ross, S., Carolsfeld, C. & M. Roth. Motivation Theory in Action: Using Saltwater Aquaria to Teach Science in Schools. (Presented by G. Ross at NARST in Baltimore, MD (March 30-April 2, 2008)
  • Starzner, M. Exploring success in place-based environmental education. (Presented at the 5th World Environmental Education Congress (5WEEC) in Montreal, Quebec in May, 2009.
  • Van der Flier-Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C. & T. Bullard. (Feb. 2009) C.S.I. B.C.: Creative (& Cool!) Science Investigations, B.C. (Feb. 2009) Workshop delivered at SD 63 Professional Development “Reflections: from Community to Classroom” Conference. (Note: also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Integrated Science Project) (Resource package for the ISP-Brochure)
  • Carolsfeld, C., Van der Flier Keller, E. & T. Bullard. (May 2009) C.S.I., B.C. Creative (& Cool!) Science Investigations, B.C: (May 2009) All day workshop delivered at SD 70 Professional Development “Train the Brain” Conference. (Note: also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Integrated Science Project)
  • Carolsfeld, C., Holmes, M., Tomasino, M. & T. Bullard.* (Feb. 2010) Bringing Oceans of Learning into the Classroom and Community with Seaquaria in Schools Programs. (Feb. 2010) Workshop 1 delivered at SD 63 Professional Development Conference, Departures (with assistance from high school and university student volunteers) (link to agenda and related resources)
  • Carolsfeld, C., Holmes, M., Tomasino, M. & T. Bullard.* (Feb. 2010) Seaquaria in Schools: Investigative Skills in Science and Cross-curricular Learning. Workshop 2 delivered at SD 63 Professional Development Conference, Departures (* with assistance from high school and university students volunteers)
  • Carolsfeld, C. & M. Holmes (May 2010) Bringing Oceans of Learning into the Classroom and Community with Seaquaria in Schools Programs. Workshop 1 delivered at SD 36 “Surrey Teachers Association 2010 ProD” Conference (with assistance from Y. Dawydiak, SD 36 teacher & A. Carolsfeld, SFU student)
  • Carolsfeld, C. & M. Holmes (May 2010) Seaquaria in Schools: Investigative Skills in Science and Cross-curricular Learning. Workshop 2 delivered at SD 36 “STA 2010 ProD” Conference (with assistance from Y. Dawydiak, SD 36 teacher and A. Carolsfeld, SFU student)
  • Carolsfeld, C. & M. Holmes. (May 2010) Seaquaria in Schools: Bringing the Ocean into Schools and Schools to the Ocean. (Interactive poster presentation at EECOM in Burnaby B.C.; note: presentations by Cathy Carolsfeld and Yvonne Dawydiak (SD36 teacher) Poster Presentation
  • Van der Flier Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C. & T. Bullard. (May 2010) Earth Sciences + Biology = Environmental Education (Interactive poster presentation at EECOM in Burnaby B.C.; note: presentations by Cathy Carolsfeld and Yvonne Dawydiak (SD36 teacher); also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Project Integrated Science Project) (Poster Presentation)
  • Carolsfeld, C. & M. Holmes. (July 2010) Seaquaria in Schools: Bringing the Ocean into Schools and Schools to the Ocean. (Interactive poster presentation at the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators “No Educator Left Inside: Exploring the Ocean and Watershed” Conference in Florence, Oregon; note: presentations by Cathy Carolsfeld and Yvonne Dawydiak (SD36 teacher))
  • Van der Flier Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C. & T. Bullard. (July 2010) Earth Sciences + Biology = Environmental Education (Interactive poster presentations at the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) Conference in Florence, Oregon; note: presentations by Cathy Carolsfeld and Yvonne Dawydiak (SD36 teacher); also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Project Integrated Science Project)
  • Van der Flier-Keller, E., Carolsfeld, C. & M. Tomasino*. (Nov. 2010) Environmental Learning Grounded in Place: Earth Science Meets Seaquaria in Our Community All day workshop delivered on B.C. School District 61 District Wide ProD Day. (*note: with assistance in preparation and delivery by high school and university student volunteers; also part of Pacific CRYSTAL Multi-disciplinary Science Project. (link to Workshop Manual)

Instructional Resources

 

Links

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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