Field Ecology in a Cultural Context

The authors of this article describe their development of  a module that integrates modern ecological theory within an American Indian (AI) cultural framework. In the weeklong field study course in Hot Springs, South Dakota, Lakota Sioux high school students explore woodpecker habitat selection and fire ecology. The article describes the module the authors develop and how different elements or styles of learning are incorporated. The module can be modified to correlate with regular semester coursework and with different cultures.

Content Comments 

The goals of this high school science instructional module are effectively described and met in this article. The module is aligned to specific National Research Council (NRC) standards, which are well described in this article. The methods are reasonable and the utility potentially applicable to Native American students, as well as to the general high school population. The article’s communications quality is sound, especially with the addition of five illustrative figures. While the authors may overstate the assessment capability of the module, teachers can easily develop a rubric measuring a number of science skills, with some potential for mathematics skills. Evidence of effectiveness is not included, and inclusion may increase the use of this resource.