Exemplary science teaching is when teachers go above and beyond in the science classroom to not only teach students about content but they are engaged and curious about the sciences and make them want more than just the grade they receive for their work. It is the experience that students have when they get involved in the classroom. What is most interesting about exemplary science teaching though is that it can take any form. It could include:
- Hands on activities
- Field Trips
- Deep connections with student’s personal lives
- Collaboration with other classrooms
- Involvement of other subjects
- A focus on other aspects of STEM
- Engagement in a long term project
- Time spent outside
- Collaboration with outside organizations
- AND anything else a teacher can do to get students passionate and willing to learn
In my own classroom I hope to become an exemplary science teacher through my efforts to connect personally with students. I want to learn about their interests, likes, and dislikes and then go on to connect content with those things. At the end of the day, I have always been most passionate about science when it is connected to my hobbies. I want to bring that same energy to my students during my career. My classroom will be full of practical experiences and activities that can be student-modified to be more engaging and focused on what THEY want and not just what I want. I will also work to incorporate other subjects into my science classroom. Science can be an excellent context through which to learn about other academic subjects, especially other STEM topics. This is what my own EXEMPLARY teachers did, and how I want to work to be exemplary myself.
A Video Explanation
In this TED talk, we learn about some of the issues modern science teachers have when relying too heavily on bad practices that do not allow for exemplary teaching. The speaker, Danny Doucette offers some better ways to develop learning and engage students in what he acknowledges is a difficult subject matter.
The Inquiry Process
This graphic explains the inquiry process, which is one of the best ways to teach science in a way that truly engages students and enriches their experience. This inquiry cycle is something I hope to use as often as possible in my own classroom by allowing students to ask their own questions about hands-on experiences and answer them through experimentation.
One More Resource
This link is for the FaceBook page of the NSTA, an organization focused on quality science teaching and helping more teachers become EXEMPLARY.