Last semester I took ‘Science Curriculum Grades 1-8’ course. My professor really provoked our thinking and our view of ‘science’. I decided to share some of the guided questions he asked at the beginning of the semester and how my response changed from day one of our course to the last day of our course. Being a Science Educator, I thought I knew what science is and all the components that makeup science. However, this course helped me to shape science. Take a look below:
- What is science and how is it different from other content areas?
Original: Science is so broad, and it is so many different things such as the environment, health and wellness, organisms, research, exploration, earth and space, genetics, theories, etc. Science is different from other content areas because it is not limited or cannot be scaled.
Added: Science surrounds us in our everyday activities, science is the products that we use, science is everything in our natural world from the ingredients that make up our toothpaste, to the structure of trees, and the air that we breathe. Science is constantly developing, even when we sleep. Science is our body, genetic makeup, our environment, our bodily functions, our brain, and our natural developments. Science is different from other contents because it helped to create other contents.
- What science is not? What is not science?
Original: Science is not just experiments and research.
- How do I feel about science and science teaching?
Original: I could not imagine teaching any other subject. I’m naturally curious, creative, a critical thinker, and constantly wanting to explore the world around me, and those things that I cannot see with my physical eyes. Science gives us the opportunity to tap into the known (research, discoveries, theories, interactions, life, etc.) and the unknown (astronomy, new discoveries, the mind’s limitless abilities, etc.). Science teaching allows educators to engage and empower our student to use their curiosity to think critically, scientifically, all while being engaged and making connections.
Added: This semester has confirmed my original thoughts and feelings about science and science teaching. Science teaching is making concepts visible even when our students cannot hold these concepts in their hands.
- What is science teaching? What is not science teaching?
Original: Science teaching is teaching beyond the content to help students make connections, it is introducing students to guide their curiosity and build inquiry skills, it is exposing students to content that they may have wondered about or never know, and it is a matter of building scientific knowledge. Science teaching is not feeding students information for the sake that they need to know certain concepts. Science teaching is not taught from a traditional teaching approach.
Added: After all the concepts that we have been introduced in this course, I have learned that science teaching is a process and there are so many ways that one can teach science effectively and with engagement. Science teaching is understanding how powerful science tools are to our students when they are taught and explained properly such as argumentation, inquiry, and participation to name a few.
- How can I grow as a teacher of science?
Original: I can grow as a teacher of science by learning more about inquiry-based learning/teaching; learning more ways to engage my students; continuing to develop professionally; stepping out of my comfort zone.
Added: This course has truly helped me grow as a teacher of science. Prior to this class, I did not know what the four strands of science learning were. I was teaching content, not really teaching science itself. I now understand scientific explanation, what it means to generate scientific evidence, how to encourage and implement reflecting on scientific knowledge, and what it looks like to participate productively in science. I’m excited to implement so many strategies and wisdom that I have gain in my classroom. I am extremely fascinated by the idea and power of scientific inquiry.