Strengthening the Curriculum Design and Enhancing the Educational Practices of the Resources Education Curriculum in Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps
thesisposted on 01.01.2013, 00:00 by Kristen A. Schulte
Our country's first National Park is home to the Yellowstone's Youth Conservation Corps (YELL-YCC); the YELL-YCC is a residential youth employment program founded on service learning concepts implemented through stewardship projects. Since 1989, this program has served as a pathway for career opportunities in the National Park Service (NPS). Education is an integrated into all work and recreational activities and five hours each week is dedicated to formal lessons known as the Resource Education Curriculum (REC). Prior to 2010, YELL-YCC ran a single eight-week session each summer. In 2010 a transition from an eight week session two four and a half-week session, model was implemented. The REC was scaled back and adapted, but the original lessons did not clearly define participant understandings, knowledge, and skills, nor did they include diverse instructional strategies. This research aims to strengthen and enhance the REC by developing 17, one-hour educational lessons by answering the following research questions: What are the understandings, knowledge, essential questions, and skills that define the conceptual foundations that are central to the YELL-YCC REC? And how do place-based experiential, and collaborative instructional strategies support the teaching of the YELL-YCC REC? This research provided the YELL-YCC with a strengthened curriculum design and enhanced REC, which achieves overarching goals of educational programming. By focusing specifically on educational development, this study in intended to inform Youth Corps research in the area of participant educational outcomes.