Presentation Title

Coyotes, Four-Wheeling, and Citizen Social Science: Case Studies in Student-Directed Learning

Project Collaborators

Joshua Morse (Graduate Student Mentor), Rachelle Gould (Faculty Advisor)

Abstract

This research sought to compare the needs and outcomes of students participating in a student-led research and research with a predetermined, teacher-driven topic. Over the course of six months, I carried out two curriculum driven research projects with a group of 15 students in a high school field studies class. The first of these projects was an offshoot of the larger “Coyote Stories” project in which students learned about coyote ecology, social science research methods, and conducted interviews with community members regarding their values relative to coyotes in Vermont. The second project was directed by student interest and will be referred to in this work as the “Student-Led Inquiry.” Students were tasked with determing a research topic, research question, and methodological tool relevant to both their interests and perceived community need. The students landed on ATV/four-wheeler recreation as their guiding topic. Throughout this process, students completed self-assessments with questions targeting several of the Vermont Department of Education’s transferable skills: creative and practical problem solving, informed and integrative thinking, responsible and involved citizenship, and self-direction. From these self-assessments, synthesized results will take the form of individual case studies of student learning and experience. Additional data will come from exit interviews conducted with partner educators on their perception of the student experience. While the work is still in the analysis stage, results are anticipated to indicate ways citizen science can be adapted as a tool for social science and classroom learning and what limitations current interpretations of citizen science present for its applications in social science education settings.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Rachelle Gould

Graduate Student Mentors

Joshua Morse

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Environmental Studies

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Coyotes, Four-Wheeling, and Citizen Social Science: Case Studies in Student-Directed Learning

This research sought to compare the needs and outcomes of students participating in a student-led research and research with a predetermined, teacher-driven topic. Over the course of six months, I carried out two curriculum driven research projects with a group of 15 students in a high school field studies class. The first of these projects was an offshoot of the larger “Coyote Stories” project in which students learned about coyote ecology, social science research methods, and conducted interviews with community members regarding their values relative to coyotes in Vermont. The second project was directed by student interest and will be referred to in this work as the “Student-Led Inquiry.” Students were tasked with determing a research topic, research question, and methodological tool relevant to both their interests and perceived community need. The students landed on ATV/four-wheeler recreation as their guiding topic. Throughout this process, students completed self-assessments with questions targeting several of the Vermont Department of Education’s transferable skills: creative and practical problem solving, informed and integrative thinking, responsible and involved citizenship, and self-direction. From these self-assessments, synthesized results will take the form of individual case studies of student learning and experience. Additional data will come from exit interviews conducted with partner educators on their perception of the student experience. While the work is still in the analysis stage, results are anticipated to indicate ways citizen science can be adapted as a tool for social science and classroom learning and what limitations current interpretations of citizen science present for its applications in social science education settings.