“The kind of learning that should occur stems from the kinds of questions asked. They should be questions that lead to further questions.” – The Paideia Group
Current trends in education research show that integrating hands-on & minds-on approaches in the classroom provide efficient ways to motivate students to learn in all subjects. See for example the successful research-based strategies by Donald J. Leu and co-workers for closing student achievement gaps in literacy, science and mathematics and other areas. The 1996 National Science Education Standards (NSES) is also an excellent resource. The publication of the NSES is the culmination of decades of prior research on how to improve student achievement and close achievement gaps.
How can we close achievement gaps in the classroom? Delivering hands-on, minds-on lessons requires a learning climate where the teacher actively listens and responds to students while they are doing activities. By actively listening to students as they complete activities, the teacher can serve as a facilitator, deliverer of expert information, coach, supportive evaluator and more. The hands-on, minds-on activities have to be appropriate for the grade level and carefully structured to develop key process skills, and meet science standards. When this model is applied to professional development we can help more teachers and afterschool educators gain the knowledge and confidence to deliver lessons that will motivate our kids to learn and increase achievement. At WHY SCIENCE, this is our model for delivering teacher professional development. If you are interested in learning more about this model contact us to find out how we foster this kind of teaching & learning in our workshops, programs, and media.
References for Further Reading
- Click here for more information on Dr. Donald J. Leu research
- Click here to learn more about The Paideia Group
- Click here to explore the 1996 National Science Education Standards