Excursion 1

 

 

This guide to educating middle school students really helped me answer my own questions, which were:

 

I want to learn how to best set up my classroom for teaching science and math.

 

What are the effective ways to do so?

How much autonomy should be given to children learning science and math, especially for grade 6 and 7 students?

 

Some of my classmates also asked similar questions as they told me in the excursion 0 post.

 

As I was reading that book, some of the things that should out to me about middle school education and the population it served were:

 

“There should be a way to simulate in the child a love for learning, an attitude of inquiry, a passion for truth and beauty, a questioning mind….the answers should be found through creative thinking, reasoning, judging, and understanding.”

 

“To be a lifelong learner they need more than the basic understanding of reading, writing, and mathematics.”

 

“Development is needed in physical, intellectual, moral, psychological, and academic success and that they are all intertwined with each other.”

 

Thus, I need to create an inviting classroom that will have interesting and experimental books on math and science, and also will expose them to the latest research, in hopes of sparking their interests. I also need to challenge them as much as I can and also give them the independence, and the autonomy to choose options leading to individual inquiry and exploration.

 

Other things that stood out to me and what I should keep in mind in setting up my classroom is that:

 

Profound personal changes are happening to them between the ages of 10-15. Even if they are showing new capacities for thinking, they still need ongoing, concrete, and experimental learning. I need to teach them in an exploratory way that will teach them/go over the basic concepts, through concrete methods. For, example, teaching students the concept of hot and cold temperature and molecule movement through the observation of food coloring being dropped into hot and cold water, and how that spreads in both beakers.

 

We as the adult also need to remember that they also need those moments of informal conversation between caring adults to learn about life and its ways. They also need guidance from us to maintain the hope and optimism of youth, as they deal with societal pressures of no money, and the desire to own things they cannot afford, which they are exposed to by the media.

 

References:

 

National Middle School Association. (2010). 1- 4. In This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents. National Middle School Assn.

 

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Syed,

      I really enjoyed reading your response to this text.  I was especially struck by:

      I want to learn how to best set up my classroom for teaching science and math.

      What are the effective ways to do so?

      How much autonomy should be given to children learning science and math, especially for grade 6 and 7 students?

      These are exactly the questions that have shaped my teaching and research for the past 7-8 years.

      I strong urge you to read this paper, which addresses many of the concerns you raise about learning environments. When you do, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

       

    ED 524 Spring 2020

    ED 524 Spring 2020

    This is the online home for ED 524 Spring 2020.

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