Walked to campus this morning and spent the day with Year 2 teacher education students. They have just returned from a six-week placement in partnership schools, and they have one week before they head off to their choice placements. These next placements are two-week, non-traditional field experiences at museums, nature centers, alternative schools for the severely disabled, etc. During this interim week the faculty have arranged a series of experiences known as Creative Journeys in which students participate in projects designed to help them use their imagination, take risks, and express themselves in innovative ways. Students are creating public art, producing performances, writing music, painting, planning a web link to connect local children with children in South Africa, and more. I enjoyed visiting various groups, hearing their ideas, and learning more about their school experiences. I found many of the students to be bright, articulate, and enthusiastic about teaching. The faculty is wonderful and has developed a high quality, innovative program for their students.
They run a three-year program here at University of Chichester, as well as a one-year Masters program. In the three-year program, students take an integrated science–science methods course each year. The modules include life, earth and physical sciences, with strong emphasis on investigation. Year 3 students also examine relevant science education research. It is an interesting and desirable model. Maybe we can learn from it at Penn State as we redesign the 4-8 program for science.
After classes ended around 4 PM, I dropped of my things at the B&B and set off to explore Felpham, which is the local village. It is described as a “hamlet by the sea” and is the location of William Blake’s home in the very early 1800’s. I found the house, which is beautifully preserved and has a thatched roof. I ate across the street at the Fox Inn
, enjoying a pint of lager with my meal. I was told by the bartender that the ales were for the men. : )
On my way back, I wandered along the shore. It is very rocky, so I decided to find a special one to bring back for Zach. I had no idea just how special it would be. Something sparkly caught my eye. When I took a closer look, I saw that one of the rocks had split apart revealing crystals inside – a geode?! Spectacular! After a little online searching, I learned that Sussex beaches are famous for fossils and minerals. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few more trips to the sea to search for treasure again before I go.