Standard 3: Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning
I've been toying with a side project for a while now. It's been very persistent in occupying my brain, so I figure it's time to give it a chance to see the light of day. So, here it goes.
Well, here it almost goes. First, some background. I spend a lot of my time at work exploring the Next Generation Science Standards. In essence, I try to make the NGSS accessible for the teachers in my district. If you're not familiar with the standards themselves, they have a unique architecture in that they're three dimensional. That means that they're made of three distinct, yet tightly intertwined, components.
I was challenged by Jody Green (@peerlessgreen) to share five things that educators must stop pretending in order to #makeschooldifferent. Here they are:
- Let us stop pretending that adding technology to a classroom will automatically make it more engaging. I have seen technology change the face of teaching and learning in my own classroom and in our district. However, if you take your old boring worksheets and put them on an iPad as PDFs, do you know what you get? You'll get boring digital worksheets! We have to change how we do business.
So, as a science teacher there are many things that we teach because...well, probably because we learned them in school. Within that category would be the stages of mitosis, the formulas for photosynthesis and cellular respiration, etc. But, I question why do we really teach them? Are they relevant to the lives of our students? Does the average American need this information to be successful in their lives? To make informed decisions? Or are we just perpetuating the traditional methods because it's what feels warm and cozy?
Yesterday was the first elementary whole grade level training of the year. It was absolutely AH-MAZE-ING! I'd probably put some 40+ hours into prepping a six-hour workshop, and to have it go so well made all of that time feel well like it was well-spent.