“Education is suffering from narration sickness.” That’s one of the observations in Amanda Giracca’s article in the current edition of Orion magazine, Into the Field; Why science education needs to leave the classroom. It’s a familiar refrain for some of us perhaps, this idea that real learning might be accomplished more readily outside, in the environment rather than in the artificial confines of the schoolhouse, but it’s an idea that has yet to really catch fire in many areas.
It’s a well-written article and it spends some time going through the many collateral benefits that in situ instruction provides over its more traditional counterparts, but it does more than that. Using examples like Rachel Carson, the author explores the role that field studies have, not only in the ongoing work of science, but also on the development of tomorrow’s scientists. There is a value, says the writer, in way that true learning employs tangential and seemingly unconnected lines of inquiry, only to have these strands unite later in the process, adding a depth and value that would not otherwise be there.
It’s the kind of article you might read more than once.