Our EDU 434 ended with a mini-professional-development-session for pre-service teachers where they shared their posters of the mini-unit they developed. As a doctoral student, I had to say I learned a lot from them.
I love the way how they used graphs and pictures on their poster to demonstrate the overarching phenomena in their unit. It was really interesting to see how middle-school teachers’ posters were different from high-school teachers’ ones. I don’t know why, but on site, I almost immediately recognized who was teaching middle schoolers and who was teaching high schoolers.
I love the way how pre-service teachers gave their students’ options to so their work. Some students preferred to describing the phenomena with pictures while others preferred to do it with words.
I love the way how pre-service teachers organized their units. Though I was not a science teachers, from their posters I could easily tell how the unit would proceed and what objectives they wanted to achieve.
I was also surprised and amazed by how hard those pre-service teachers tried to design authentic activities to engage their students. I heard more than one teachers said this was what he or she designed, but they were not satisfied about that. Chemistry teachers struggled with how to demonstrate the phenomenon at a molecular level and biology teachers struggled with the cellular level. I think they really get into the idea of showing students the “real science”.
They did really AWESOME job, which made me want to go back to teaching!
One thing I feel really great about the poster session was that practicing teachers were there to help. Their advice were valuable resources to all of us, even for us as doctoral students. When I listened to the conversation between pre-service teachers and practicing teachers, I was amazed by how quickly the practicing teachers could respond to pre-service teachers’ questions and give advice. What made it better was that the practicing teachers were also learning from pre-service teachers.
Another takeaway for me from this poster session is how important our research work is. Pre-service teachers’ posters demonstrated how fun, accessible and meaningful science learning could become when the teachers had all these culturally sustaining, ambitious teaching pedagogy in mind and actually tried to implement them. Moreover, Sam’s struggle with how to show students what really happened behind scientific phenomena enabled me to see the significance of integrating technology into education. As a qualitative or humanity person, I used to be against technology, believing to some extent, technology takes away students’ opportunity to feel the real things in the world. I remembered a couple of months ago, I talked with one of my friends who tried to persuade me with how amazing those educational technologies were. I said, “Okay, I understand they are fancy, but I just don’t see the point. When you can argue with others in face, why do you argue with them on phone?”
Probably now, I have a better understanding.
Overall, it was a fabulous experience to have this class with our pre-service teachers friends. I learned a lot from them and I see good teachers in them.
If you are an anti-technology person as I was, check this video out!