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Action Research     7

Nature of Science-The creative, tentative, durable, questioning, evidential, predictive, explanatory, biased, social, and ethical characteristics of the scientific enterprise.

Project Based Learning-Any authentic learner centered task that requires students to convey their learning through a product

Chapter II

REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Authentic science involves fieldwork (Dexter, 1958; Gurian, 2001), creativity (McComas, 1998), and inquiry (National Research Council, 2000).  Research in education indicates that students learn best through active learning methods such constructivism (Wilson, 1996) and project based learning (Blumenfield, Krajcik, & Tal, 2006).  Research also points to constructivism, field work, and hands-on learning as possible ways to motivate students (Baker & White, 2003; Long, 2005; Slavin, 2003).  Engagement in authentic science can increase knowledge of the nature of science, which according to Ahlgren & Rutherford (1990) “…is requisite for scientific literacy” (p.1). Thus, the review of the literature surrounding best practices fieldwork focused on field work, inquiry, constructivism, project based learning, authentic assessment, motivation, and the nature of science.

Field Work

The background of findings on fieldwork is extensive (Barnet, Chavez, Deni, et. al., 2006; Dexter, 1958; Holfstein & Orion, 1994; Gurian, 2001; Lehrer & Schauble, 1999; Stevenson, 1940; etc).  This body of literature generally looks at field experiences as being positively correlated to student achievement and motivation.  Some studies looked at the effects

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