Proposal Title

Plenary - Take a chance on science: Experiments in science learning

Room

WSC 55

Start Date

6-7-2017 4:50 PM

Keywords

informal learning, discussion case study

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Most of us chose a career in science because the natural world tickled our intellect, and our curiosity beckoned. Yet in the classroom, science is often presented as a static collection of facts rather than a vibrant method of inquiry that ignites curiosity and fuels discovery. What can we do about that? I chose to celebrate science by embracing its philosophy and practices in the classroom. I use my intuition about what will work, make hypotheses, try things out and experiment, sometimes fail and sometimes succeed, and use that data to readjust my hypothesis. And every day, I repeat the mantra that science education is not about coming up with the right answer; it’s about learning to ask insightful questions. In this session, I will take you through my experiments in science education, first using the case study discussion technique to encourage students to think like a scientist. Then I’ll share the lessons learned by leaving academia and continuing a career in informal education at a science centre. Along the way, I will offer opportunities to reflect on your practice, how you model the scientific process in your classroom to feed students’ inquisitiveness, and your approach to taking risks in the classroom.

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Jul 6th, 4:50 PM

Plenary - Take a chance on science: Experiments in science learning

WSC 55

Most of us chose a career in science because the natural world tickled our intellect, and our curiosity beckoned. Yet in the classroom, science is often presented as a static collection of facts rather than a vibrant method of inquiry that ignites curiosity and fuels discovery. What can we do about that? I chose to celebrate science by embracing its philosophy and practices in the classroom. I use my intuition about what will work, make hypotheses, try things out and experiment, sometimes fail and sometimes succeed, and use that data to readjust my hypothesis. And every day, I repeat the mantra that science education is not about coming up with the right answer; it’s about learning to ask insightful questions. In this session, I will take you through my experiments in science education, first using the case study discussion technique to encourage students to think like a scientist. Then I’ll share the lessons learned by leaving academia and continuing a career in informal education at a science centre. Along the way, I will offer opportunities to reflect on your practice, how you model the scientific process in your classroom to feed students’ inquisitiveness, and your approach to taking risks in the classroom.