Stone Wall Initiative
1. Organizational description
The Stone Wall Initiative (SWI) is part of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, which is supported by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Connecticut. SWI promotes the appreciation, investigation, and conservation of stone walls in New England. Though modern rebuilt walls are important, the SWI emphasizes the cultural, natural, and aesthetic resources provided by historic walls, New England’s equivalent to classical ruins. This collection was created, field-tested and revised by a team consisting of faculty members at the University of Connecticut, master teachers in the Mansfield, Connecticut School System, and graduate students in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. In addition, external science experts from the University of Vermont’s Department of Geology were consulted to ensure scientific accuracy and validity. For more information on SWI, please consult the website http://www.stonewall.uconn.edu/.
2. Collection purpose or goals
The resources in this collection exemplify the core structure of the transdisciplinary theory of teaching and learning which utilizes a team approach of interdisciplinary professionals to collectively develop learning opportunities that emphasize inquiry from multiple perspectives. This approach aligns well with the Digital Library for Earth System Education goals of providing access to Earth system education materials with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary areas. The SWI collection emphasizes using real-world settings to teach and learn about the connections in the Earth system as evidenced in stone walls. Because this pedagogy relies on the situational context and inquiry within specific settings, the intent is not that users will reproduce the learning activities provided in the collection verbatim in another class. Rather, the collection’s purpose is to illustrate the transdisciplinary theory in practice, thereby allowing developers insight into the process of creating such a curriculum in their own schools. Thus, the compilation of Earth science lessons and educational activities supplied provide a starting point, but they must be adapted to reflect issues unique to various schools and communities. A gola is to have the collection serve as a model for bringing disciplines together in a way in which meaningful learning may occur.
3. Collection policy
The collection presents a collaborative, field-tested, innovative curriculum grounded in the transdisciplinary theory of teaching and learning. The collection includes materials that are appropriate for grades K-12; including lesson plans, field activities and instructor guides; as well as supporting maps and reference materials. The centerpiece of the curriculum is based on the illustrated children’s book Stone Wall Secrets, by Robert and Kristine Thorson. Written for grades 3-5, the story depicts a grandfather and grandson exploring the geology, anthropology and history of the landscape of their farm while repairing a stone wall. Resources were selected and created based upon their grade level appropriateness and the connections they showcased across disciplines. Beyond the grounding fictional texts used as the project/activity starters; this collection emphasizes lesson plans and activities that have been developed through a transdisciplinary theory of teaching and learning, as well as the educational possibilities that may arise from educators who pursue this approach.
4. Contact information
For questions related to resources within the collection please contact: Robert M. Thorson - Professor of Geology, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Connecticut.
For questions related to the metadata of the collection, please contact the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) at email@example.com.
The materials in this collection are directly developed resource content designed by the team described above and listed individually below and Copyright (c) 2005 The Stone Wall Initiative, University of Connecticut. Permission to use lesson plans, figures, tables and brief excerpts from this collection of transdisciplinary curricula is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged.
Metadata is Copyright (c) 2006 University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). DLESE, as part of UCAR, may modify, reformat and redistribute metadata to function withnd redistribute metadata to function within DLESE systems and services.
7. Resource quality assurance
Resource integrity is assured by the Stone Wall Initiative, University of Connecticut. Any questions and/or suggestions should be directed to Robert Thorson, Principal Investigator of the Stone Wall Initiative.
8. Metadata quality assurance
Metadata are developed by staff at the DLESE Program Center, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. One staff member creates the metadata and then another staff checks it for quality assurance and completeness. Staff at the Stone Wall Initiative provides a final check of the metadata to ensure an accurate reflection of the resource content.
9. Persistence plan for the collection
The Stone Wall Initiative Collection is expected to exist indefinitely as long as the materials are useful for education purposes and the links to the materials can be maintained. Materials that become obsolete or are no longer accessible online will be removed from the collection.
10. Other information: project participants
Last updated: 2006-08-17