Science Education Inside and Outside the Classroom
September 28, 2017
In my career, I have watched curriculums, educational benchmarks and standards change both inside and outside of the Classroom. The Principles of Science, however, are a rarely changing stabilizing force. Observation, Exploration and Discovery drive Theories toward Laws as we learn ever more about our Universe.
Science Mentorship Outside The Classroom
Mentorship is about helping my students find their independent self by standing by them, steadfast, at the beginning of their journey and then slowly fading into the background as they find their footing. The new school year has brought new challenges, but the groundwork laid last year has prepared us for a different kind of beginning. I found that my students took my words to heart and had a VERY different responses to this year’s introduction to the sciences. They knew that clearly stated objectives, sometimes absent in last year’s assignments, gave them an essential tool of gaging what is required of them. They know that they can move forward advocating for instruction and materials that will be pertinent to these clearly stated objectives. This is a major step forward in for them in self-advocacy.
Experience changes our perspective. As we grow we learn that old ideas have a place in our lives, but that new experiences can change our path as we move forward. Mentorship is an essential component of this journey. There are many voices, with VERY different narratives. A Mentor helps a student find the path that is right for THE STUDENT and NOT the multitude of voices. Major changes take place over VERY short periods of in the Life of a Young Person. Vigilant coaches help them navigate these changes in their World View; help them navigate these Paradigm Shifts of consciousness. Having now crossed over into new subject matter for the 2017-2018 academic year, my students can now start to see that The Natural Sciences can sometimes be overly compartmentalized in the classroom setting. Biology started this year with (UGH!!) Chemistry, a subject that was hoped to be left behind, but which reared its ugly head on Day One. But wait, this is the Bio-chemistry that carried over from the end of last year. Science means something RELEVANT, it has a purpose. Paradigm Shifted.
As a Coach and Mentor it is my job to help ALL students understand the innate value of the Principles of Science in the every aspects of their lives.
Science Instruction Inside The Classroom
Patterns and Principles
What we all teach are the overarching principles and patterns of the natural world. The Conceptual Constructs are created using these principles to create the “average” activity of a system. In reality, there is no average action. However, in order to understand the flow of the natural world we must teach the archetypes before we can explore the endless caveats. This year we will hopefully be able to step back and look at the Big Picture and begin to appreciate the reasons for the selection of material for study. When we cease to focus on the minutiae, the principles begin to stand out and we are one step closer to a greater understanding of how to apply our classroom experience to our lives.
I HAVE been in the classroom and as a Krav Maga Coach, in a real sense, I still am. Teaching is an act of creation and of theatre. As I have said before the Principles rarely change, but the Audience ALWAYS does. If you’re still doing Straight Vaudeville in the Age of Instabook and Facegram, nothing is going to get through. I, for one, have very fond memories of film strip and 8mm movie days, but times have changed. The good news is that with a couple of simple everyday items, you can still put on a pretty good show you just have to update the punchlines. I’ve included a lesson plan below that uses some VERY common items, which when used with a speck-o-flair can still amuse ANYONE from eight to eighty.
Download (PDF, 591KB)
The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede, by Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael, c. 1670
As a mentor I am constantly adapting. As my student’s needs change I change my approach. What I NEVER change is my commitment to see ALL of my students through what ever faces them until they are ready to stand proudly on their own.
Come see me. Let’s do GREAT things together.
Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure (2016)
Author – Dominic Walliman; Illustrator – Ben Newman
Flying Eye Books, London – New York
This is a great book for ANY age. I can’t imagine anyone who would not find this a page-turner based on the super-retro illustrations….and ya learn some physics.