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Integrating Environmental Sustainability Education with Computational Thinking in a Montessori School Setting PROCEEDINGS

, , , , University of Maine, United States

World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, in Denver, Colorado, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-95-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA

Abstract

The complex nature of emerging environmental problems necessitates a shift away from traditional learning approaches. An important question in this regard is: What novel approaches to learning will ensure student’s ability to develop integrative problem solving skills involving complex multidisciplinary contexts (for example, water resources sustainability)? This paper presents a framework to merge environmental education curriculum with computational learning in a Montessori school environment to facilitate active learning using programmable media, with watershed sustainability as the overarching problem-solving context. The programming environment BYOB (based on MIT’s Scratch environment) was used. BYOB provides a conceptual and pedagogical space to observe and enhance students’ creative learning. An integrated learning activity involving river pollution is used to illustrate the manner in which our approach merges environmental and computational problem solving, thus enabling a higher level of modeling and analysis and exploration of outcomes from prescribed scenarios.

Citation

Westbaker, T., Jain, S., Scott, M. & Arsenault, J. (2012). Integrating Environmental Sustainability Education with Computational Thinking in a Montessori School Setting. In T. Amiel & B. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2012 (pp. 500-506). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.


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