Education Research

The Cary Institute has been researching how students and teachers understand and learn about ecosystems for the past thirty years, through a combination of curriculum, professional development, and implementation in our school programs and camp.

Ecological Literacy

Ecosystem is one of the most enduring and powerful concepts in ecology. How can people become adept at thinking about and understanding ecosystems? We have been collaborating with scientists and educators to more clearly define these and related goals for ecology education, and then to develop metrics for assessing literacy among various groups.

Data and the Nature of Science

Incorporating secondary data into ecology can provide students with a way of supporting their claims from smaller research projects and connecting their work with the real world. In addition to providing units that include secondary data, these materials also highlight the ecological nature of science by providing lessons that help students think like an ecologist.        

Explaining and Fostering Interest in Ecology

The vitality of the field of ecology depends upon a diverse and well-trained workforce. The ways we frame problems, seek solutions and apply knowledge depend upon having a scientific community with diverse strengths, perspectives, thinking styles, backgrounds, interests and concerns. 

Place and Local Ecosystems

It is known that grounding educational practice in a local ecosystem provides students with the ability to see the relevance and context of what they are learning, and to become more engaged in the learning process.  We have developed a number of our curriculum and professional development projects with these ideas in mind.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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