Exemplary teaching can be and should be used in every classroom; especially in a science subject classroom. Science is one of the most difficult subjects to teach through lecture because many of the things discussed must be experienced.
Sitting and listening can only do so much for a learner. Let’s explore how exemplary teaching breaks through this easy-to-fall-into trap.
What does exemplary teaching look like in a classroom?
In The Voices of Exemplary Science Teachers, Ann E. Haley-Oliphant provides many examples of exemplary teachers in the K-12 science world. Even though the grades these teachers taught cover the whole K-12 spectrum, their teaching methods have many similar traits:
- Student led classes
- Students should be able to dive deeper if wanted
- The teacher is flexible with their plans in order to support diving deeper
- Hands on activities and labs
- Activities connected to the real world
- When a lesson is connected to a student’s life outside of class, it is perceived that the lessons matter
- Discussions and lessons target many different types of learners
- An exemplary teacher knows how to utilize many different teaching methods that can teach a variety of different types of learners.
- Minimal lecture leads to maximal discussion
- Passionate teachers leads to passionate students
- Students are encouraged to be creative
#Middleschool #Science methods Ss start to design their notebooks for class which helps show what their interests in science are. Starting off with this activity on day one also sets the stage for learning. A few highlights from this years mix! @NSTA @shippensburgU pic.twitter.com/xxrE3FZtfe
— Christine Anne Royce, Ed.D. (@caroyce) August 31, 2018
Students are scientists in an exemplary science classroom.
Exemplary teachers do not just give information; they provide students with a means of discovering information. With exemplary teaching, students learn skills in:
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
The Gifted Education Channel provides a fantastic in depth look at what exemplary teaching really is. Take a look!
In a classroom led by exemplary teaching methods:
- A lab would be provided in which students had the ability to try multiple times or change their procedure. Through this methods, a discrepant event is supported rather than avoided.
- Example students could be assigned a lab on solubility. The procedure provided would be very broad, but give enough information for students to create their own methods. If their initial methods don’t work or provide sufficient data, they would have opportunity to change their methods to provide experience in solubility.
- Students would know the big picture before diving into the smaller pieces of a lesson.
- The correct answer is not always provided (if not necessary). Discussion is encouraged in order for students to figure it out, rather than merely be told.
- Example students could be assigned to draw diagrams on the board representing how they believe covalent bonding looks as opposed to ionic bonding at the molecular level. Instead of the teacher pointing out which ones are correct or incorrect, the students would discuss why they agree or disagree with the drawings until a consensus has been made. After a consensus has been made, the teacher can come and provide insight.