Travelling with Darwin and Humboldt. A Transdisciplinary Educational Experience

  • Antonio Martín Ezpeleta Language and Literature Didactics Department, University of Valencia Avda. Tarongers nº 4, 46022, Valencia, Spain https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0210-3399
  • Yolanda Echegoyen-Sanz Experimental and Social Sciences Didactics Department, University of Valencia Avda. Tarongers nº 4, 46022, Valencia, Spain https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3729-460X
Keywords: transdisciplinarity, outdoor education, emotional learning, scientific travelers, preservice teachers

Abstract

Aim. This research aims to confirm that transdisciplinary projects can be very adequate to develop content and competencies traditionally assigned to Sciences and Arts in higher education, exploring the possibilities of outdoor education.

Methods. The subjects of the study were one hundred alumni of two different courses “Natural Sciences for Teachers” and “Literary Training for Teachers” at a Spanish university. An educational experience around the phenomenon of scientific travelers was developed, focusing on Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt and the literary genres of travel journals and letters. The main activity contained three phases, including indoor and outdoor education, in which both subjects tackled the same 6 educational topics from a different perspective. After different individual and group activities around those topics, alumni from both subjects merged at a natural environment where a scientific-literary tour took place. At the end of the academic year, an assessment questionnaire with open and closed questions was filled out by all participants.

Results and conclusion. After the analysis of all the collected data, we can deduce that the experience was a success. The students appreciated aspects like the setting in which the experience took place, the possibility of interacting with alumni from different courses and the integration of Sciences and Arts. Thus, we have demonstrated that the same activities can be implemented in prototypical subjects of Sciences and Arts and that outdoor education is an ideal resource to achieve a holistic pedagogy engaging the sensory and emotional facets of learning.

Author Biographies

Antonio Martín Ezpeleta, Language and Literature Didactics Department, University of Valencia Avda. Tarongers nº 4, 46022, Valencia, Spain

Antonio Martín Ezpeleta - he completed his PhD in Hispanic Philology at the University of Zaragoza, and is a Professor in the Department of Language and Literature Didactics at the University of Valencia where he has been a faculty member since 2012. He previously worked at the Universities of Jaén (2010-2011) and Zaragoza (2011-2012). He was a visiting researcher at Saint Andrews University (Scotland, 2005) and Harvard University (the United States, 2008-2010). His research interests include the study and edition of 19th and 20th-century books, as well as the Spanish literary Historiography and the Didactics of Literature. He is the author of four books and more than fifty articles published in collective monographs and specialized journals.

Yolanda Echegoyen-Sanz, Experimental and Social Sciences Didactics Department, University of Valencia Avda. Tarongers nº 4, 46022, Valencia, Spain

Yolanda Echegoyen Sanz - she completed her PhD in Sciences at the University of Zaragoza, and is a Professor in the Department of Experimental and Social Sciences Didactics at the University of Valencia, where she has been a faculty member since 2016. She previously worked at the Spanish National Research Council (2003-2008 and 2015-2016), Fritz Haber Institut der Max Plank Gesellschaft (Germany, 2005), Northeastern University (the United States, 2008-2009), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the United States, 2009-2011) and the University of Zaragoza (2011-2015). Her research interests are related to Environmental Chemistry, Nanotechnology and Experimental Science Didactics. She has published more than forty articles in specialized journals and fifteen book chapters.

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Published
2019-09-02
How to Cite
Martín Ezpeleta, A., & Echegoyen-Sanz, Y. (2019). Travelling with Darwin and Humboldt. A Transdisciplinary Educational Experience. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 10(2), 111-125. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs20192.111.125