Textbook Module 1

        Chapter seven discusses education models for behaviorism, cognitive and constructivism in the approach to teaching science. These models are presented through steps that are built upon each other (pg. 97, Taber and Akpan). In teaching however information modules aren’t the only factors that affect learning. Both Taber and Akpan argue that the emotional qualities of learning can limit an approach in teaching and must be considered as well. 

        One approach to science education is the aspect of behaviorism. It begins the moment you step foot into a school setting. How we line our students or conduct them to do group/independent work. In addition, how we handle their questions that they ask us. Non-verbal queues whether we do it sub-consciously or consciously affect how a student processes our behavior and affects their learning of content. The approach of behaviorism can be a form of teacher-centered modeling as well. What I mean is in the content of science, vocabulary is an important factor when understanding the knowledge behind such different topics. So when we introduce such vocabulary, how we introduce it plays a key role in whether or not our students will grasp the concept.  In implications for practice it states, “the use of repetition as technique for learning skills and memorising factual knowledge; the introduction of classroom routines.” (pg. 98) In science the content difficulty can be easier if broken down into sub units. This may make the level of content easier for students to retain information and ideas instead of simply memorize factual knowledge. As educators we can use visuals as means of providing information. This allows students to be able to think on their own and be more effective learners.

            Another approach to science education is the constructivism. This is the active process in which learners have preconceived ideas about a topic while they discuss a specific focus area. Then, educators help shape and refine that learner’s knowledge into a greater understanding. Some view this approach as skeptical because educators are accepting of misconceptions students’ propose rather than working around students’ responses in order to correct and guide them into accurate responses. That is the draw back to accepting ALL responses as valid.   

            Overall I personally favor the behaviorist approach. It is how I teach my students and I honestly educate them how I was taught years ago. Although teaching has evolved as well as the methods of delivery have too, I still pursue a teacher centered modeling. It will take some time to adapt and allow my students to take control of their own learning rather than allowing myself to always provide them with the information. Being agile is a big part of teaching and over time I will get used to the students doing the work as opposed to myself. By this I mean, let the students ask the questions and allow them to answer it themselves. I am only there to assist when needed.

 

 

 

 

              Chapter 8 discusses the curiosity of students and how they explore that curiosity by asking questions. Many students even my own find science boring. However, regardless of their negative attitude towards the subject I still try my best to make this seemingly boring subject engaging because these students still want to learn about the world around them and science will provide information to aid that curiosity. Science education can be successful if students are supported through changing their curiosity into “inquiry questioning” (pg. 108, Taber and Akpan). Educators need to build on inquiry and develop our students’ higher order of thinking. This will challenge a student and allow them to excel beyond expectations if provided the correct scaffold. Yes and no questions are a good way to introduce general knowledge about topics. However, as the topic becomes more detailed, educators should stray away from these low level questioning and provide questions with “Why”, or “Do you agree and disagree with Student A, if so explain.” Incorporate debates with questioning, because surprisingly students learn best from each other. As much as we want to shove information down their throat and in turn let them do practice problems to test their understanding through our own questioning. Let students ask their own questions followed by having other students answer them. If not, with proper resources let students themselves ‘Research’ their questions.

     

 

 

 

             According to chapter 12, the concept of learning to speak the language of science isn’t just vocabulary. Better yet vocabulary is a stepping-stone to aid in further exploration. Students must utilize the vocabulary given and learn to implement such vocabulary into “writing, reading and communication” among other scientists (students) (pg. 159, Taber and Akpan). How can such an approach be made? I teach an 8th grade ENL class where they only speak Chinese and their English vocabulary is minimum, let alone their science vocabulary. The authors as well as I, suggest letting students learn the language of science the same way they learn a new language; communicate it (pg. 160). Not only can you communicate science, but practice it as well.

            Many of my students have trouble communicating their information with others so it helps to allow them to gather their thoughts and write their responses first. This too is an issue because many are on different reading levels and lack the use of academic language. So scaffolding becomes an important tactic as an educator that I implement for my students. Not only are guided notes helpful, but providing my students with a vocabulary word wall helps. I make my vocabulary word wall ‘interaction’ where if a student is ever stuck, I have them approach the wall and take that vocabulary word which is in English and their language. Then if they flip the card over, it provides them with a definition they previously wrote in their own words. 

            Overall I feel that this approach is positive in allowing my students to be successful in the language of science. This chapter discussed four overlapping components, which include logical, theoretical, rhetorical and pragmatic. Over time I will develop more techniques that will aim to teach and aid my students to argue and analyze their data. Lastly I want them to learn from each other and provide feedback the same way I provide them with feedback.