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 www.stanys.org 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.