Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Tony Lorsbach

Second Advisor

Allison Antink Meyer


In this dissertation grounded theory techniques were used to characterize pre-service educators’ experiences in a semester-long, field-based ecology course. Through participation in a citizen science project, participants formed a community of practice that extended their conceptions of themselves as ecology students and scientists. Extended field experiences in a variety of local ecosystems contributed to the development of a sense of place. Paired fieldwork with lecture aided their developing ecological literacy and their understanding of place-based pedagogy. All of these combined to support their growing understanding of their role in field-based ecology education. Lack of background in ecology and ecology pedagogy contributed to make these gains appear modest compared to established models of ecological literacy, but they were significant to the individual participants. Participants ended the semester with increased confidence in their abilities to learn in the field and to incorporate field-based techniques in pK-8 education as well as their desire to do so.


Imported from ProQuest EdgcombFriday_ilstu_0092E_11134.pdf


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