If your high school science classes were anything like mine, the only thing you’ll remember is that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and that a binder does not make a comfortable pillow.
Student’s don’t want to sit through lectures day in, day out listening to some random teacher ramble about science. So if you want to be an exemplary science teacher, you have to make science real and tangible.
But how do you do that?
Inquiry Based Learning
This video by John Spencer breaks down what inquiry learning is, so give it a watch!
Why do we use inquiry based learning?
- Inquiry based learning is student centered
- It allows students ask questions and design experiments or research to answer their questions!
- When students guide their learning journey they’re more engaged.
- The act of “doing science” will help students understand science concepts.
Making Science Real
When we’re sitting in the classroom for an hour listening to a lecture it’s hard to see how science is used in the real world. Helping students understand how science is used can make what they are learning more meaningful!
How do we make science real?
- Show students how science is used in the real world!
- Talk about experiments that scientists have performed that connect to the material students are learning!
- How does science connect to the world outside the classroom?
- How does what you are learning connect to what’s happening in the world right now?
- What jobs can students have that involve stem? (It’s probably more than they think!)
Want to focus more on making science real? Check out these two articles!
This first article by Chiara Ceci looks at connecting science and everyday life. The image above is from the article and shows different ways chemistry is used in everyday life!
This image comes from a short lesson about connecting science to things students see in the world. Using what student’s already know is a great way to get them involved and making connections in science!
Connect Science To Students’ Community
Connecting science to the community the student’s live in brings science into their backyards. Ask students to identify a problem they see in their community and see what science concepts they’ve learned that can help fix the problem!
Want to go even further? Help students figure out actions they can take right now to help fix the problem!
Where do I start?
This article from STEM teaching tools is a great place to start when figuring out how to connect science to community!
And this article from Discovery Center Idaho has some examples of how science connects the community so you can get some ideas of how science can connect your community!
Why do we need exemplary science teachers?
Exemplary science teachers help students grow into scientists. Exemplary science teachers help students make connections and develop a deeper understanding of science.
Exemplary science teaching also helps teachers get a better understanding of what students know. Check out this tweet from NSTA with more information!
Where do we go from here?
Start incorporating exemplary science learning into your classrooms. Ask students to design an experiment about a question they have, help students learn about community issues and connect the issues to science, teach students about what scientists are doing right now!
Exemplary science teaching isn’t about making sure students get 100% on a multiple choice test, it’s about guiding students through their science journey. Exemplary science teachers provide resources and guidance to students as they learn, ask questions, make connections, and grow.
So, if you want to be an exemplary science teacher ask yourself this: how will you help guide your students and will you let your students guide their own learning?
Best of luck!