Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)


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If students take a meaningful and engaging course at the collegiate level, they should walk away scientifically literate and with a deeper appreciation for how science works. The future of science education is already here. Examples include a class that Handelsman spearheaded at Wisconsin called the Teaching Fellows Program.

The fellows take an 8-week course entitled Teaching Biology to develop and implement their own curriculum in the classroom [ 6 ]. This is also being done at Yale, where students who took the class in fall co-taught a biology for non-majors class called Genes and Environment in the spring. Moreover, Handelsman and others have developed a summer curriculum at the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Teaching in Biology to help train and improve undergraduate educators.

The Institute brings together educators from research-intensive universities to focus on improving teaching [ 7 ]. So far, the Institute includes more than faculty who teach approximately , students annually. But more must be done. Handelsman talked at length about basic steps that have been demonstrated to improve student learning: Methods of encouraging an active learning curriculum include clicker use, small group discussions, index card questions, and many others that can be easily implemented in the classroom [ 10 ]. Clicker questions force students to synthesize information that has been discussed and gives the professor instant feedback on how the class is grasping concepts.

Meanwhile, small group discussions help students express their thoughts and solve problems in a way that emulates the scientific process. Furthermore, those who are intimidated by larger classes are much more likely to speak up in a smaller group, so everyone feels ownership over their learning.

A final active learning method is writing concerns or questions on a note card at the end of the class for the professor, helping the professor assess what to focus on and strengthen. One tangible example of enriching undergraduate scientific learning experience is mandatory laboratory participation.


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This does not accurately reflect the scientific process and may not excite students to pursue scientific disciplines. In more active exercises, such as mini-research projects, students experience the entire scientific process, from formulating questions to recording and analyzing data to deriving conclusions.

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Students may also substitute laboratory classes with rotations in research laboratories [ 5 ]. While this will require extra work on the part of the faculty, the benefits of introducing more students to the exciting process of science at work may be worth the extra effort.

Another innovative idea is to teach a class entirely devoted to the process of being a scientist [ 11 ]. One vital aspect of effective teaching is molding the curriculum based on student learning throughout the semester. Beyond the typical midterms and finals, assessment of student understanding can come from note card feedback, as discussed above. Regular writing or problem-solving assignments also save students from getting lost during the semester. However, this method challenges the professor to remain flexible, adapting the course in order to accommodate student-learning needs.

Another key to creating better science education is to encourage diversity. Diversity is crucial in the scientific enterprise because it brings divergent views to the table, allowing formulation of the most pragmatic and often best solution to the question at hand.

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In the classroom, diversity would encourage group discussions in which opposing viewpoints have to be considered and ultimately resolved in the problem-solving process. Lastly, mentoring provides the students with an enriching perspective. Students are often intimidated by professors and would benefit from talking with an older student within his or her discipline about questions and concerns.

Programs that make mentors available to younger students make it possible for more students to learn about opportunities in diverse scientific fields. Furthermore, training programs for mentors help ensure a mutually rewarding experience for the mentor and mentee [ 12 , 13 ]. Handelsman has organized a half-semester mentoring skills workshop at Yale, and many additional workshops are also periodically held at the Center for Scientific Teaching at Yale.

Introduction

At the end of our discussion, I asked Handelsman why these ideas have not been implemented more frequently. Often, she said, professors do not want to leave the comfort zone of their teaching methods. Learn the essentials of music theory and how music expresses culture in this instructional video series for high school classrooms. K Resources for Music Educators: Valuable resources for music educators and music students at all educational levels.

Carefully researched and commercial free. The Alan Lomax Sound Archive: Gives you access to 17, songs. The World Music Archive: Run by the BBC, this archive allows you to sample the musical traditions of more than 40 countries. India, Corsica, China, Cuba, Iran, Brazil, Mozambique, Turkey -- they're all represented in this eclectic collection of indigenous music. This site given the same name as the one above is run by Gary Matthews, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

It also uses children's stories to introduce students to philosophical questions. An interactive visualization of—you guessed it—more than , stars. In video format, scientists answer questions about the universe. For example, where is the center of the universe? What happens when galaxies collide? Atlas of the Universe: From the University of Illinois. Encourages next generation of makers to tackle the do-it-yourself projects of their dreams. Brings together 30 years of computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research. Chemistry Activities for Kids: Features chemistry demonstrations, crafts, and projects that are suitable for kids.

Some activities require adult supervision. Developed by the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium, with support from NASA, this digital atlas makes available the most complete and accurate 3D atlas of the Universe from the local solar neighborhood out to the edge of the observable Universe. Download it for free! An interactive Web 2. You can customize the size and speed of the incoming object, among other items.

You can explore the Khan Academy's science and technology lessons using the following hotlinks: America's space agency provides educational media for different age groups.

Eyes on the Solar System: The National Institutes of Health provides a collection of educational resources for science teachers. The material is divided by topic and grade level: This site is a resource for anyone interested in paleontology, from the student in the classroom, to the interested amateur scouting for fossils, to the professional in the lab. Produced by the American Physical Society.


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  • Robotics is a great way to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. Royal Institution Christmas Lecture s: Provides educational resources for teachers and parents to help make science fun and engaging for kids. Features fun activities, facts, projects and experiments that promote a desire amongst kids to learn more about science and technology. Science News for Kids: Helps kids middle school and above stay up-to-date on scientific trends. Provides crisp, concise coverage of all fields of science daily.

    A searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with standards-based engineering curricula for use by K teachers and engineering faculty to make applied science and math engineering come alive in K settings. The Web site provides access to course content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field.

    Created for K teachers, this online resource provides a one-stop, comprehensive resource on evolution. The site is divided into a K-6 section and a grades section. This venture gives students the ability to take free computer science lessons online. This Google site provides course content and tutorials for Computer Science CS students and educators on current computing technologies and paradigms.

    Computer Science Courses from Great Universities: The more advanced student can watch lectures from computer science courses presented at great universities. This innovative reading experience has been adapted from the book The Aesop for Children , and includes outstanding drawings by Milo Winter, a noted illustrator. American Museum of Natural History: Cosmic Discoveries is the first app to collect nearly 1, stunning astronomic images. All words are accompanied by images and pronounced for you by native speakers. Discover how each brain region functions, what happens when the brain is injured, and how it is involved in mental illness.

    Each detailed structure comes with information on functions, disorders, brain damage, case studies, and links to modern research. Use your touch screen to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures. Pretty simple, but handy. A good dictionary in your pocket. Touch the views and control the planet with your finger. This app will turn your iPad into a whiteboard where you can do screencasting.

    A handy app for taking notes. This app offers a comprehensive visual database of all known exoplanets planets orbiting other stars discovered so far. It is frequently updated as new discoveries are confirmed. The highly-rated app allows you to easily create and study flashcards without the hassle of having to buy and write on actual note cards. Fotopedia offers a number of other great apps related to foreign travel here. Gene Screen also provides information on some recessive genetic diseases and genetic screening programs. Sky Map enables users to identify stars and planets by pointing their devices towards these objects in the sky.

    Users can zoom in and out, and switch various layers such as constellations, planets, grids, and deep sky objects. Users can also determine the locations of planets and stars relative to their own current locations. The highly rated app lets young students find words, steal tiles, and color the board! From the most important museum in Paris, this app provides a virtual tour of the Louvre's galleries and lets users check out the works of everyone from DaVinci to Michelangelo.

    The app gets you up close and personal with paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and even the French Crown Jewels. An app for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers. You can rotate the molecules by moving your finger across the display, zoom in or out by using two-finger pinch gestures, or pan the molecule by moving two fingers across the screen at once. The introductory level is free, although more advanced levels require paying for the app. The perfect resource to help students learn about the moon.

    This free app puts the moon in your pocket with 3D graphics and touch screen navigation. Museum of Modern Art: It will teach you to recognize species by pictures. Provides access to 1,, species pages and 1,, pictures.


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    As you will see, the app comes with some handy functionality: Plus the app automatically remembers the last page you read. Sight Words, also known as the Dolch List, are an integral part of learning how to read. The Dolch Word list contains words that are broken down into appropriate age groups. Ideal for kids 1 - 5 years old. NASA's Spacecraft 3D is an augmented reality application that lets you learn about and interact with a variety of spacecraft that are used to explore our solar system, study Earth, and observe the universe. Cognitive, affective, and social dimensions in learning science.

    Representational languages and knowledge organization. Collaborative construction of knowledge. Relations between teaching practices and student cognitive and affective development, design of teaching interventions. Research based intervention and its role for curriculum planning, instructional paths and learning outcomes. Video studies in science education. Online learning environments, simulation and modelling tools, virtual laboratories. Self-regulation, reflection and collaboration in digital learning environments.

    Design of teaching and learning materials. Classroom implementation, refinement and evaluation of teaching sequences. Exchange and adaptation of teaching-learning sequences. Adoption and transformation of teaching materials. Factors that influence teacher ownership.

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    The implications of nature of science, its history, philosophy, sociology and epistemology, for science education. The significance of models and modelling for science education as reflected in the particular importance attached to the use of metaphors, analogy, visualization, simulations and animations in science. Understanding, supporting and promoting use of evidence and argumentation discourse in science education. Scientific practices related to knowledge evaluation and communication. Supporting the development of critical thinking. Talking and writing science in the classroom.

    Meaning making in science classrooms. Teaching about scientific literacy, science and citizenship education, science and media education, information literacy, informal reasoning and critical thinking, decision making, debates on socio-scientific issues SSI , discourse communities, social dimension of science and techno-scientific practices, public engagement in science, schools', students' and teachers' engagement in socio-scientific issues.

    Ecological and Environmental Education, Education for Sustainable Development, environmental health, health education and health promotion. Lifestyles and attitudes towards health and the environment. Developing and evaluating the impact of programmes and experiences outside classrooms, including those organized by institutions other than schools. Reform implementation, dissemination and evaluation. Evaluation of schools and institutions. Policy and Practice issues: Development, validation and use of standardized tests, achievement tests, high stakes tests, and instruments for measuring attitudes, interests, beliefs, self-efficacy, science process skills, conceptual understandings, etc.

    Monitoring student learning and implications for teaching. Equity and diversity issues: Professional knowledge of teachers, pre-service teacher preparation, instructional methods in pre-service teacher education, programs and policy, field experience, relation of theory with practice, and issues related to pre-service teacher education reform. In-service science teacher education, teachers as lifelong learners; methods, innovation and reform in professional development; evaluation of professional development practices, reflective practice, teachers as researchers, and action research.

    Procedural skills in science, science investigations, science teaching and learning sequences in primary school. Procedural skills in science, science investigations, science teaching and learning sequences in secondary school. Guidelines for submitting book proposals Prospective authors of monographs or editors of thematic collections of chapters should submit proposals to the Editor-in-Chief for consideration by the Editorial Board see below.

    Each will send a report and recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief who will make the final decision on the proposal: Procedure for preparing and submitting a book manuscript after a proposal has been accepted. Procedure for preparing and submitting a book manuscript after a proposal has been accepted Once a book proposal has been accepted by the Editorial Board, all subsequent correspondence with the Editorial Board should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief of the ESERA Book Series.

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    Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5) Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)
    Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5) Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)
    Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5) Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)
    Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5) Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)
    Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5) Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)
    Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5) Why Do We Teach Science? (Science Education eBook Series 5)

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