Place-Based Teaching and Learning at Grand Canyon: In-Person and Virtual


Friday, March 1, 2019


Memorial Union, Arizona Ballroom (Room 221)
301 E Orange St, Tempe, AZ 85281


Steven Semken, PhD

Presentation Abstract

Grand Canyon is a dynamic natural landscape that encodes nearly two billion years of geological history, and which is also situated within a cultural landscape that encodes the names, experiences, and lives of people from ancestral Native Americans to American explorers and settlers to modern visitors from across the nation and around the world. Place-based ways of teaching integrate the natural and the cultural attributes of a place or region such as Grand Canyon to facilitate learning. For the last century, Grand Canyon National Park has offered interpretive programs and resources to visitors that hew to this place-based philosophy, enabling millions of Park visitors to make intellectual and emotional connections to the landscape and its natural and cultural history. Geological and educational research have contributed to the interpretive mission of the Park with new research-based resources such as the Trail of Time Exhibition. Even more recently, advances in visualization and instructional technology have brought the pedagogical power of Grand Canyon to the online realm through immersive, interactive virtual field trips (iVFTs), which have the potential to enable many millions more to explore and learn from the natural and cultural landscapes of Grand Canyon, including its most physically inaccessible places. Current research is directed toward rendering iVFTs ever more authentic and place-based, while also enhancing the accessibility and effectiveness of in-person field experiences for visitors and students at Grand Canyon.


In person