Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I am a SCIENCE teacher

I hear the quote "I don't teach X subject, I teach children" a lot. I don't like it. I prefer "I help children to learn in the context of science lessons". Pedantic?

I know the most important thing is that we produce well rounded individuals that are able to make good decisions while living their lives. It is vital as teachers that we support the development of young people. But I also think teaching students about the nature of science is important too.

More and more I realise the importance to society that children understand science and the nature of science. I understand the importance of teaching science more than at anytime in my career.

My concern over what the government will do to the curriculum heightens my awareness of the importance of teaching science. Science lessons need to help students understand how science works and that is is continually changing and involving. Few is any problems have a "correct" answer, just an accepted one and that this can change. I don't want my students ending their science education thinking it is a body of facts to be remembered and recalled.

1 comment:

  1. Helen

    Thanks for this post - couldn't agree more. Although I love the odd bits and pieces of science, the random animals and the surprising spectacles, I want my students to *do*, not *know*. I want them to learn is how to think like scientists, to be able to decode science stories in the media and online. I want them to be able to see the science and engineering that makes their day possible, from their morning breakfast to the phones that rule their waking hours and the power stations that light their homes at night. I want them to use tables of data, not memorise them, to understand that science is a process not a body of facts, and most of all that science is not about answers. It's about *questions*.

    While I teach them this - or try to - I also want to teach them to work together, to listen and contribute, to share ideas, to criticise constructively rather than personally, to think sceptically about the world as it is and the world as they want it to be. I want them to learn that choices have consequences, for themselves and for others. I want them to understand that it's usually "a bit more complicated than that," but that we can use those simpler models to understand the messy world we live in.

    I appear to have come over all poetic!