In general, the Arctic alive! curriculum has been developed for
students in grades 6-9. Students in these grades show an immense
range of knowledge, skills and abilities. It is important to keep
in mind that every lesson, activity or assessment method may not
fit every students needs. It is also important to keep in
mind that this curriculum is being developed for use by both rural
and urban schools (with different length classes). Just as individual
students have a range of knowledge so does one class to the next.
For these reasons, most of the pre-field trip lesson plans have
been developed with varying activities and extensions. These lessons
provide basic background knowledge and/or skills that will be helpful
for students to be familiar with so that they get the most possible
out of the virtual field trip. Being that these pre-field-trip lessons
provide basic skills and contain many activities (to meet a variety
of abilities), it may not be necessary or even feasible for every
class to complete every lesson or activity. It is up to the teacher
to choose the most applicable lessons, activities and assessments
to meet the needs of their particular students.
Project-based, Authentic and Relevant
The Arctic alive! curriculum has been developed to be project-based,
authentic and relevant.
- The Project Approach refers to a set of teaching strategies
which enable teachers to guide children through in-depth studies
of real world topics. Sylvia Chard
- Authentic teaching and learning are based on the idea of applying
knowledge and reasoning to situations similar to those they will
encounter in the world outside the classroom. In the case of the
Arctic alive! curriculum, student activities will reflect situations
that approximate how scientists do their work. For instance, cooperative
learning and scientific notebooks are both used as instructional
methods as they both reflect how scientists in the real world
- To the extent possible, this curriculum has been designed to
try to make concepts and activities significant and relevant to
the student. However, as an international curriculum, it is difficult
to incorporate aspects that will make the curriculum relevant
to all students everywhere. For this reason, it is recommended
that teachers modify or add to instruction using local examples,
hands-on artifacts, guest speakers, etc. as possible.
In some cases, variations on instructional methods are included within
the context of the lesson plan. The reason that these variations are
included is because, in some cases due to time constraints or the
large amount of material to be covered, some activities have been
modified. For instance, certain activities that are outlined as a
demonstration could easily be a student-run experiment or rather than
completing one activity as a large group, a variety of learning stations/centers
could be set-up for small group, cooperative learning situations.
These types of modifications, where students play a more active role,
are encouraged if time, space, materials, etc. permits.
Background information is provided. It should be said, however, that
the information provided is in some cases minimal. Students should
be encouraged to do further research about topics of interest or about
questions that are not answered in the section. Please refer to the
resources section for many excellent websites for further information.
Curriculum is Standards-Based and Interdisciplinary
The Arctic alive! curriculum has been developed and aligned with National
and Alaska State Standards. The curriculum provides opportunities
to gain knowledge and skills in a variety disciplines. Please see
the Interdisciplinary Study Suggestions table for more
ideas to integrate the Arctic alive! curriculum across subjects. The
curriculum is based, specifically, on the standards listed below.
Please see the Standards Lessons Correlation Matrix
for details in individual lessons.
- National Science Education Standards - content as well as scientific
- National Educational Technology Standards for Students
- Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
- Alaska Content, Performance and Cultural Standards
Assessment methods for this curriculum are based on the National Science
Education Standards recommendations. In this new view, assessment
and learning are two sides of the same coin. The methods used to collect
educational data define in measurable terms what teachers should teach
and what students should learn. And when students engage in an assessment
exercise, they should learn from it.
This view of assessment places greater confidence in the results of
assessment procedures that sample an assortment of variables using
diverse data-collection methods, rather than the more traditional
sampling of one variable by a single method. Thus, all aspects of
science achievement--ability to inquire, scientific understanding
of the natural world, understanding of the nature and utility of science--are
measured using multiple methods such as performances and portfolios,
as well as conventional paper-and-pencil tests. Types of assessment
strategies that have been included are Constructed Response, Personal
Communication, Performance Assessment, Portfolio/Scientific Journal
and Observation. Recommendations have been made as to which assessments
can be done by the teacher, peer and/or self-reflections by the individual
student about their progress.
Another important shift is toward "authentic assessment."
This movement calls for exercises that closely approximate the intended
outcomes of science education. Authentic assessment exercises require
students to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to situations
similar to those they will encounter in the world outside the classroom,
as well as to situations that approximate how scientists do their
With this rationale in mind, multiple assessment opportunities are
provided throughout the curriculum. It is not the intent that all
possible assessment methods, that are included, be used for grading.
Teachers should decided which pieces best assess the content or skills
that their students need to learn and use those tools for grading
purposes. Please see the Assessment Strategies section
of the teachers guide for further information about assessment
methods available for individual lessons and intended purpose/user
of the data.
Other Educational Considerations in Curriculum Development
The Arctic alive! curriculum has been developed based on and incorporating
some of the following educational theories/consideration.
| Bloom s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives:
||Recall of recognize specific information
|| Understand the information given
|| Use methods, concepts, principles and theories
in new situations
|| Break information down into its constituent elements
|| Put together constituent elements or parts to
form a whole requiring original, creative thinking
|| Judge the values of ideas, materials and methods
by developing and applying standards and criteria.
Challenges of Climate Change Education
Environmental Education Goals and Objective Categories
Goal: Environmental education is a process aimed at developing
a world population that is aware of and concerned about the total
environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge,
attitudes, motivations, commitments and skills to work individually
and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention
of new ones.
Stapp, William B. & Cox, Dorothy, A. (1977). Environmental
Education Activities (Adopted at the World Intergovernmental Conference
of Environmental Education). Tblisi, USSR.
- Awareness to help individuals and social groups acquire
an awareness of and sensitivity to the total environment and its
- Knowledge to help individuals and social groups gain
a variety of experiences with the total environment and to acquire
a basic understanding of the total environment, its associated
problems and humanitys critical responsible presence and
role in it;
- Attitudes to help individuals and social groups acquire
social values, strong feelings of concern for the environment
and the motivation for actively participating in its protection
- Skills to help individuals and social groups acquire
the skills for working toward the solution of environmental problems
and to foster a dialogue between those groups; and
- Participation to help individuals and social groups develop
a sense of responsibility and urgency regarding environmental
problems to ensure appropriate action to help solve these problems
and avoid future problems,
Learning Styles and Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences
Teaching strategies should provide opportunities for students to learn
using varied instructional and assessment methods. Together these
methods will incorporate all learning styles/intelligences into the
unit of study. Gardners multiple intelligences include Linguistic,
Musical, Logical-Mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Intrapersonal