It’s rare to get a chance to combine both a love of travel and earning professional development credits. But Fresno Pacific University offers that opportunity through online travel courses for teachers that give educators the chance to add knowledge about some of the most-visited locations in America into their curriculum.
The self-guided travel courses allow teachers to incorporate their travels into classroom lessons on everything from marine science and American history to the formation of the national parks. Some courses are completed online with no travel required. Others have an optional field study, and some require a site visit.
Variety of Travel Courses for Teachers
The list of travel courses for teachers is lengthy. It includes courses on:
- Yellowstone Natural History
- Death Valley Desert Ecology
- The Stewardship of Lake Tahoe
- Washington D.C. - Capital Sites
- Boston and the American Revolution
There are dozens of courses that cover the history and ecology of different locations with either a social studies or scientific approach. Completing these courses may count toward earning professional development credit, which in turn can lead to higher pay in many school districts.
Here is a closer look at two of the classes offered.
California Gold Rush: 49ers/Miners
In this course, teachers learn about the impact of the gold rush in California history. The course covers issues such as the Native Americans who lived in the areas where gold was discovered, as well as the settlers who came to work the gold mines. The course includes video tours of James Marshall Gold Discovery Site, The Empire Mine and the North Star Mine Powerhouse.
The course also delves into the labor-intensive and capital-intensive mining in Coloma, Grass Valley and Nevada City. Students learn about the mining business, the tools used in mining and what it was like to work in mines. The stories, facts and information about this unique time in American history can help teachers incorporate this information into their classrooms.
Yosemite Sierra Natural History
This course focuses on the natural history of Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevadas. This course also makes use of video tours, but teachers who take this course can also make optional site visits.
According to the course description, the “wildlife, ecosystem, and geological uniqueness of the Sierras will leave a lasting impression as you discover and share the richness and value of this national treasure.”
Teachers can take what they learn from this class, as well as knowledge from their travels, to develop lessons that align to state, district and national standards (including Common Core Standards).
Those are just two of the many travel courses for teachers that can put the knowledge gained in travel to use in the classroom, all while earning professional development credits. That’s a triple benefit that few courses can offer!