Saturday, July 3, 2010

IU's HPER Students Off to Dominican Republic

The Indiana University (Bloomington) School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation's (HPER) Office of Underwater Science is partnering with fifth-grade teachers from Edgewood Intermediate School in Ellettsville to develop a curriculum based on actual IU research taking place in the Dominican Republic and involving some of the West's earliest explorers, reports the IU News Bureau.

The 11 teachers and IU researchers will travel on 4 July to the Dominican Republic, where they will walk on the streets and follow the paths of explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Ponce de Leon, Hernando Cortes, and others. In preparation for the trip, the teachers have been attending lectures at the IU Underwater Science lab, which is under the direction of archeologist Charles Beeker, and have been learning to snorkel so they can view ruins of sunken ships and other underwater discoveries.

The purpose of the curriculum is to expand the view and understanding of the age of exploration and the first contacts between the indigenous groups and European explorers, ultimately encouraging students to broaden their world view and increase tolerance and acceptance.

As a result, this unit intends to develop a practical curriculum that they hope will be available to all fifth-grade teachers in Indiana and contain a variety of artifacts for students to be able to manipulate.

With the proposed curriculum, students will:

* Travel through history by simulation from 1492-1783
* Experience life as a captain of a fleet
* Plan for voyage (food, supplies, placement in ship, etc.)
* Log daily journal entries by keeping a captain's log
* Encounter explorers traveling to the New World

Currently, the plan is for eight classrooms at Edgewood Intermediate School to pilot the model curriculum in the fall of 2010.


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