Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Science across the Curriculum

Last night I facilitated my very first Inspired Teaching workshop all by myself. It's called Science across the Curriculum. The syllabus says that teachers will learn to integrate math, literacy, and science. The teachers reminded me that science also touches so many other content areas--geography, history, art, ethics, theology, and philosophy, among others.

Our class started with the teacher participants sharing their 'Science Autobiographies.' Each illustrated themselves as a scientist--one would be a food scientist, another an experimental physicist, a third an earth scientist. Each shared their common joys and frustrations of teaching children to explore, investigate, and understand their world. The frustrations: too little time to dedicate to the luxury of letting children experiment through play; too few supplies, books, and other material supports for hands-on activities; and too little preparation in their teacher education. The joys? Many spoke of the pleasure in witnessing the emotions of children engaging in scientific concepts--what other subject can bring out fear, wonder, disgust, and curiosity all in one lesson? Others acknowledged that they enjoyed the ethical responsibility of teaching environmental stewardship. And one teacher, who, like me, sort of backed into her role as a Science Teacher, said that the "best part of teaching science is learning along with the kids!" Now *there's* an Inspired Teacher!

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