First Advisor

Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Date of Publication

Summer 10-8-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in General Science


Science Teaching




Science -- Study and teaching (Middle school) -- Case studies, Traditional ecological knowledge



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 149 pages)


The Nature of Science (NOS) and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) have commonalities in the knowledge bases: they are both ways of explaining the natural world; founded on a set of practices and the historical accumulation of knowledge; and part of the education is learning practices and developing knowledge of the concepts that are foundational to the disciplines. Throughout the United States, schools are attempting to strengthen students' understanding of NOS through various approaches, although few have adopted the integration of TEK into curriculum. This research assesses two summer camps for middle school students that are science focused, one with TEK integration and one with minimal TEK integration. Pre- and post- surveys and student work samples were analyzed to determine the impact of TEK integration on students' understanding of some of the NOS concepts. A significant increase was observed in the camp that integrated TEK, while no change was observed in students' understanding of NOS in the camp that had minimal TEK integration.


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