Laura B. Schneider, adjunct professor of environmental studies, has published an article in the journal Science & Children with Faith Farren, a primary-grade teacher at Starmaker School for Early Education in California, Maryland. The audience for the article is second grade teachers.
Titled “Soil Texture 5 E,” the article focuses on how to engage students in science learning when field trips are not possible. The pair decided to create a 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluation; Bybee 2014) field experience for their multi-aged primary class where learners would investigate soil samples in the school yard and compare and contrast them with a sample from a local beach. By designing and leading the experience, the two authors could meet their goals of teaching students about properties while modeling their field investigation after the framework of exemplary practices in outdoor and field education (Tal, Lavie Alon, and Morag 2014).
As an educator, Schneider’s goal is to work toward creating a scientifically literate populace and for all learners to feel included in sciences. According to Schneider, “My research has focused on the distinction between historical and experimental science methods. It is vital for learners to understand historical science methods because science topics that are important, yet met with contention within the American public such as global climate change, Big Bang Theory, and evolution, fall under the historical science umbrella. My goals involve creating culturally relevant science teaching materials which are easily accessible as a way to bring three-dimensional science to K-8 teachers and students. I believe all learners deserve high-quality school science experience.”
Schneider’s areas of research specialization include: philosophy of science, earth science education, PK-8 science education, culturally responsive teaching, and science learning environments.