Animal Navigation in the Classroom: Lessons From a Pilot Experience

TitleAnimal Navigation in the Classroom: Lessons From a Pilot Experience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFanini, L
JournalApplied Environmental Education and Communication
Pages178 - 187

In response to a direct request from science teachers, researchers initiated a pilot experience on animal orientation and navigation, which was delivered to 61 13-year-old students in Florence, Italy. The aim was to explain the approach to ethology and to link animal navigation with geography, focusing on species crossing the Italian territory. Together with the theoretical workshop, an experiment held in the classroom allowed the students to make and test their own hypotheses through an hands-on approach. A questionnaire was submitted before and after the experience to test the effectiveness of the whole activity, and highlight issues relevant to the improvement of school science program. Results indicate an uptake of the concepts and the sharing individual knowledge among the classroom, leading to an overall knowledge increase regarding the species mentioned. This experience indicates that the issue of animal orientation and navigation and helps knowledge integration. The engaging nature of this topic makes it ideal for promoting biological conservation, by focusing attention on species behavior and the habitats where such behavior is displayed. The author found direct collaboration between researchers and teachers to be an effective aid to the formation of the next generation of scientists. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


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