Field Notebooks and Natural History Journals by Lois Mansfield
Field notebooks and journals have a long and illustrious history dating back to antiquity. For the student of natural history, notebooks and journals were and continue to be recognised as an essential component for recording and logging information about the planet’s complex biodiversity, and the nature notebooks produced by pupils at Charlotte Mason’s House of Education are the focus of this monograph. These notebooks provided the students with transferable skills and underpinning knowledge. They provided deep learning opportunities for students through lowering cognitive load and also provide rich sources of species observations in relation to their ecological value. Whilst natural history as a discipline in its own right has undergone somewhat of a temporary decline in the latter half of the 20th century, the notebook is shown here to continue to be a critical learning mechanism for many disciplines where fieldwork is an essential learning tool. This is exemplified by the diverse range of styles of notebooks which currently exist—from the creative and imaginative nature journals of John Muir Laws through the positivist tradition of ecological and geographical field investigation to the reflective qualitative notebooks of social scientists. **Available here as a digital download or as a paperback on Amazon.**
The multi-authored Charlotte Mason Centenary Monograph series is designed to highlight and explore the continuing educational and leadership relevance of Charlotte Mason (1842–1923) through the collective contributions of the Armitt Museum and Library, the University of Cumbria, the Charlotte Mason Institute, and other scholars and practitioners worldwide.