Greetings! It is my (Danielle‘s) pleasure to share with you the going-ons at East and Warner this week. I am not part of the teacher cohort, but I am a researcher on the GR!S team and will be offering a more outside-of-the-classroom perspective

At East

Over four days, GR!S accompanied eight classes on their field trips to the Gorge. This trip was the anchoring experience for the seventh grade science classes. However, it also served as an anchoring experience for the Theory and Practice course. In last week’s blog, James and Olivia talked about how the trip  situates scientific learning here in Rochester. The GR!S team has been able to situate our learnings on the nature of science and students’ scientific identities in this trip.

This trip would have been the culminating experience of my 7th grade science course. I would have known the names of the rocks, how they formed, and the gorge trip would have confirmed what I had been taught. East students were put in an entirely different experience and I was worried that they wouldn’t know what to do once they got off the bus. They came with their cultural knowledge about rocks and Rochester and now they had the opportunity to make observations. It was encouraging to see the students completely engaged in collecting samples and making observations. The students were able to explain their reasoning when choosing samples and made claims about how Rochester has changed based on what they observed. I saw how the students were beginning to construct knowledge about Rochester’s history for themselves. I am curious to see how this continues throughout the unit. Are the students developing a science identity by engaging with the discipline this way?

At Warner

We spoke with Dr. Norman Lederman through videoconference in our Theory and Practice in Teaching and Learning Science course. Dr. Lederman researches how people come to know and understand the nature of science (NOS). Teaching NOS is tricky since it is subject to change (by its nature) and often misunderstood. Speaking with Dr. Lederman gave us the opportunity to ask questions and to clear up some common misunderstandings (NOS and inquiry aren’t the same. Rather inquiry is the platform to teach NOS). Dr. Lederman gave us permission to be “troublemakers” and willing to teach what isn’t easily assessed and, therefore, not always valued.