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Abstract

As I read about the core practices of Expeditionary Learning, I became intrigued and began to question how an ExpeditionaryLearning Project (ELP) is built and developed in an early childhood classroom. From studies describing various Expeditionary Learning Projects, I identified five key themes in their development: 1. the importance of discussion and “Science Talk” in a project; 2. the importance of fieldwork in a project; 3. how students develop ideas in a project; 4. how a teacher promotes student ownership of learning through a project; and 5. how a teacher prepares and plans a project on an individual basis and with colleagues and students. Teachers’ written accounts of their Expeditionary Learning Projects inspired me and helped me to design a classroom investigation that would extend my own understanding. Through observations, interviews, and workshop documentation, I wanted to learn more about the evolution of a project. I wanted to observe how a project evolves and to better understand the developmental process behind it. I also believed that such an investigation of an Expeditionary Learning Project would help me, as a beginning teacher, to implement a similar project in my own classroom.

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