What Are Field and Laboratory Technique Manuals?
This field and laboratory techniques manual will provide you, as a teacher, with the opportunity to engage your students in doing a research project.
In the last ten years, science education has been changing from asking students to memorize texts and facts to empowering students to do hands-on research.
It is clear that students should not only memorize facts, but also should be able to process these facts and build on them. Experimentation based on known facts with the objective of learning new things by trial and error is what science is all about.
Over time, we have learned that the scientific method is not covered properly in all schools. Many students do not know what the scientific method is. And if they do know, they are unable to apply it to real-life scientific projects.
We have also learned that in many cases, teachers are not able to come up with good experiments, and when they do, the methods used in the experiments to complete the research may not be sound and may lack scientific validity.
I have developed a number of field and laboratory techniques throughout my career to provide teachers with the necessary tools to get their students involved in projects that require a hands-on approach and application of the scientific method.
I have listed a number of field and laboratory technique applications here ranging from themes in mathematics all the way to techniques in forestry. All the activities are related to ecology and the environmental sciences. Each booklet found on the CD provides you with one application. In each booklet, all found in my website. I give you the information you will need to engage your students in a research project.
I have always said that "the questions are more important than the answers". This field and laboratory techniques manual will provide you with a great opportunity to ask good questions and have the students come up with answers without looking them up in a single textbook. The manual will provide you with an introduction, the methods and materials you will need to obtain the results, blank forms to collect the data, and suggestions on how to analyze the data and come up with the results. But, let your students analyze the methods and contribute their own grain of sand to the project by finding constructive approaches to improve the methodologies.
Most of these field and laboratory techniques will get the students very involved and should be implemented with plenty of time to let the students think and dissect each project. The results are not as important as the methods used to design the experiments, and the ability of the students to improve the methods. These projects should be done by groups of individuals, and not by one student. Students should be able to discuss the techniques, design their own forms, redesign methods, and have one hundred percent input on the scientific process used to study each case. Let the students organize and direct the outcome of the project. We need to nurture their creativity and allow them to make mistakes. Step back, and let them do the work!