Overview of the Luquillo LTER Schoolyard Program

April 20, 2022


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Noelia Baez Rodriguez

University of Puerto Rico

Randi McGee-Tekula

The Learning Partnership

The overarching goal of the Luquillo Schoolyard program is to engage students in Luquillo science. We seek to engage students in Luquillo science as junior members of the community. The Luquillo Schoolyard uses Lave and Wenger’s Legitimate Peripheral Participation framework as our framing for how to engage students as junior members of the Luquillo LTER scientific community. The three principles of (1) engaging students in authentic practices, (2) using the tools and (3) the language of the community suggest the idea that students are legitimate participants in the practices of Luquillo ecology. The last two principles highlight that students are at the periphery of the community. They are not contributing to Luquillo science. (4) Lave and Wenger characterize learning as movement from the periphery of a community to becoming a central member of the community. (5) It is imperative to support the development of student identity as a member of the community. Our prior research has shown that engaging students as legitimate peripheral participants leads to greater interest in pursuing ecology.

Through their research on apprenticeships, Lave and Wenger found an interesting pattern in terms of learning sequences. It is common in apprenticeship settings that the apprentices learn a process in the opposite order in which it is practiced. This view of learning sequences in the opposite order in which they are practiced is helping us think about how to organize our resources into a pathway. The maintain activities that form a sequence in the Luquillo Schoolyard program are: 

  • Puerto Rico y el Poderoso Hurrican (Puerto Rico and the mighty hurricane) is a children’s book due to be released in fall 2022. The book is about the resilience of El Yunque and the Puerto Rican people. This will serve as a motivator of interest in Luquillo research for upper elementary students.
  • In Journey to El Yunque, middle school students use models to explain population dynamics.
  • In Data Jam, middle school and high school students ask their own research questions and engage in the practice of data analysis to address their research question. (CLICK)
  • In the field protocols, high school students are given an opportunity to come to El Yunque to engage in field work.



Suggested Citation

McGee, S., Rodriguez, N.B., & McGee-Tekula, R. (2022). Overview of the Luquillo LTER Schoolyard Program [Webinar]. Chicago, IL: The Learning Partnership. https://doi.org/10.51420/report.2022.2

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