Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaching Science

Do we learn science in the same way that we lean anything else?
At first sight it looks like what ever it is we learn, we learn it in the same way. It will only depend on our motivation and in the opportunities provided by the teaching environment. It will depend on our personality and in the relationship of the student with the topic. As we look at how can these opportunities be created and reinforced one has to focus institutions that have been well known to produce scientist of great caliber. One thing we can notice regarding the possible difference between teaching science and non-science topics is the use of laboratory time. Experimentation or better labeled demonstration is an integral part of any science course. Even those sciences such as geology were field trips are part of the course and plays the role of physical observation of phenomena similar to what is done in a laboratory.
There is one place where one can start looking at what kind of environment is nurturing of the learning process by looking at what makes a teacher successful. This article by Dr. Dennis Plies is a good place to start: Dr, Dennis Plies Sabbatical Report In this publication Dr. Plies states that three qualities of a good learning environment are (1) The professor is overflowing with his passion for the subject, (2) He cares about our learning, and (3) The class is interactive. I would add that the reason the class is interactive is due to the individual student recognizing that there is a relationship of the topic with his/her own life!

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