In my last post, I shared my perspective on the choice I believe we, as a science education community, are facing as we make the transition to distance learning. To summarize, I believe that science educators are at a decision point. Do we allow our current challenges to move us backwards, toward teacher-centered, didactic science learning? Or do we move forward toward student-centered, constructivist science learning, embracing the current challenges along the way? I am taking the stance that we must move forward. We must apply the educational theories and paradigms that have guided our classroom approach to design high-quality distance learning.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States has been hard on all of us. That’s for sure. Schools have closed for extended periods of time, some indefinitely, and parents are at their wits’ end trying to balance the regular demands of managing households while providing school-like structure and normalcy for their children.
Unexpected, extended school closures have required many teachers to provide online instruction with minimal training or practice. If you are feeling a little anxious or overwhelmed, that absolutely makes sense! In this short series of “Making Online Instruction Work - Now!,” we hope to help you see:
Lewisville ISD’s first STEM academy earns campus certification integrating research and best practices in STEM, 21st century learning, and professional development
Rural, Title I school in Carroll County earns certification integrating the most recent research and best practices in STEM, 21st century learning, and professional development
In ninth grade, I did a leaf collection project for my biology class. My grandfather, a science professor, and my dad, a medical doctor, helped me make sure that my specimens were correctly identified, prepared, mounted, and labeled. I remember painstakingly typing out the genus and species’ names, capitalizing the genus, and using lowercase for the species’ names. I remember thinking the rule quite odd, but followed it nonetheless. I was very proud of that project, and handed it in with a sigh of relief, knowing I had done my very best work. A few weeks later, the teacher handed my project back to me with every single name of every single species circled in red, and a giant “-5 points” scrawled across each page. I remember fighting back tears and approaching my teacher. “What did I do wrong?” I asked. “Well, you didn’t capitalize the species’ names!” she barked back.