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Transcript of Lighthouse Presentation
2. ensuring the science is relevant
3. sparking scientific discussion/debate
4. supplementing the classroom 4 simple ideas a practical approach pressures from the curriculum
demands of testing + marking
considerable time constraints the paradigm shift what impedes classroom practicals? what is meant by a paradigm? a change in basic assumptions
an invitation to suspend any disbelief perceived student aptitude and interest
concern regarding effectiveness as a teaching method
possible bureaucratic considerations what can a practical accomplish? reinforce year-specific assessment statements help develop scientific
and lateral thinking what makes a practical effective (or ineffective)? implementation follow-up activities planning and design take inspiration from unorthodox sources create a relevant narrative reference specific curriculum assessments be mindful of
practical constraints 1 2 3 4 Science blogs ( i.e. Art of Teaching Science/NSTA blog)
Scientific American Frontiers/PBS
Smithsonian Education use a story to place the material in context
CSI in the classroom is an example of
using this technique successfully ensure students make
the relevant connections by continually referring to syllabus objectives be optimistic, but realistic
consider time, behaviour, and aptitude elevating the status of the practical guiding focus towards self-directed work careful attention to
timetabling components brain or mind maps
data analysis exercises Consider implementing practical checkpoints, or times at which certain kinds of data should be accumulated Begin with a practical, end with instruction Assume that students are learning kinesthetically.
What can then be reinforced during lessons?
1. Term definitions
2. Key concepts
3. Elaboration of processes and cycles Engage by active participation Circulate student groups and collectively consider any problems encountered.
Regularly enforce that checkpoints and tasks are completed. Encourage educated departures Be willing to introduce related concepts if the situation allows it.
This is assisted by selecting practicals that may apply to two or more assessment statements or objectives. The Challenge Question Concept Attract attention to interesting or unexpected results to incite debate or discussion provide questions that extend depth, not breadth Allow horizontal (breadth) expansion through experimentation
Encourage depth through the design of the practical by "peeling layers" Determining the properties of an enzyme reaction case study no. 1 involves assaying the activity of enzyme peroxidase extracted from a turnip or vegetable. enzyme concentration pH of the reaction temperature inhibitors Conventional Practical Adjusted Practical vs. provide clear materials and instructions with data analysis questions, which are often unmarked by instructors turnips cuvettes spectrophotometer bunsen burner disposable syringe 1. put together an experimental design
2. follow the approved experiment
3. answer challenge questions Investigating nervous and sensory systems a simple demonstration of the properties of nerves in earthworms or an analysis of the mammalian eye. case study no. 2 practical covers a sizeable amount of unit information from nervous coordination following up with an assigned "mind map" indicating differences and similarities to more complex nervous systems Attend to creative thinking whilst confirming facts Learn to rely on marked
self-directed study and shorter instruction time to reinforce facts. Vary activities between practicals Socratic seminars Challenge Questions classroom discussions Ethical debates Put an added emphasis on journaling and writing essays for improved understanding of scientific concepts. An interdisciplinary approach to conceptual mastery making it relevant why is it so important to provide context? to encourage the formation of meaningful relationships (and discourage the memorisation of isolated facts) to provide a realistic application for the information idea no. 2 Sourcing Information popular science magazines "pop science" books science journals and publications Advantages of
Unconventional Sources Represent high-interest non-fiction sources to encourage independent reading.
Useful for building reading comprehension for more complex examination questions.
Journaling and essay-wiritng assignments based on snippets/excerpts encourages "digestion" of difficult topics. Genetic Information AQA, 2010, Unit 2, Question 3 Introduce unit with (simple) reviews from Nature Genetics Assign excerpt from "Immortal Coils" Chapter 3 from Selfish Gene Specimen question assignment How do we use these sources? self-directed work instruction enrichment use excerpts or snippets to introduce an idea or a topic
frequently refer to the excerpt to improve clarity of the topic assign journals in which students summarise an excerpt, article or short review on a given unit assemble resources to create an in-classroom science library assign reading packets to fuel debates or discussions encourage students to create their own experimental design which can then be marked and carried out encourage students to create mind maps or other methods of graphic organisation lead Socratic seminars or an ethical discussion Specifically, what are these sources? Short commentaries or reviews from high-impact scientific journals
Concept images or graphics from these articles to be used in science presentations or explanations
Magazine articles summarising recent discoveries Concerns about complexity Students may have more to contribute when material is contextualised, drawing from their own resevoirs
Complex ideas encourages grappling with simple, underlying concepts Simple reference to discovery that viruses may cause cancer BBC news article: "Public in Dark on HPV Cancer Link" AQA, 2010, Unit 1, Question 4 Essay writing assignment on environmental factors in neoplasm formation to encourage the effective scientific communication, even through writing which is required in the examination sparking discussion encouraging young biologists to speak up idea no. 3 to provide a forum through which students can mutually clarify understanding the experience above and beyond idea no. 4 to encourage students to embrace the discipline and learn in their own, independent way to provide additional, supplementary activities to benefit learning outside the classroom Human Health AQA, Unit 2, Question 4 "HPV causes cervical cancer" Does this graph support this claim?
What is an HPV antigen?
(2 marks) Breaking It Down Integration with current and popular biology has tangible effects on assessments. Self-Directed Study Including any combination of homework or free, Montessori-like
and semi-structured activity The A-level Science Assignment dioramas
or some permutation of this idea, in which students are asked to make a model of some concept or structure textbook questions
completing questions after a reading assignment data analysis
transcribing the results from a classroom experiment Consider whether this is really encouraging scientific thought and critical thinking? Evaluating Potency Does this really encourage students to "wrestle" with scientific concepts, or can the real lesson be lost easily in other (e.g. aesthetic) considerations?
Does the rubric give importance to irrelevant criteria? Imagining Alternatives Structured essay Concept diagrams Discussion Prep Key Concept! Ensure that content overrides other considerations Instruction Enrichment Any other activity, both inside and outside the classroom, which supplements teaching and study How can your teaching benefit from the right resources? HOTS versus basic skills Higher order thinking places learning facts and recall below critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving.
Is it really difficult to integrate both of these strategies? What is the debate between the teaching process and content? Placing students at the center of enquiry Ensures that the lesson ahead will be relevant and contemporaneous
Can be utilised with an eye to standards-driven school culture When Blogs Replace Worksheets What are good reasons to switch?
1. Create more time by reducing marking
2. Writing ensures effective recall and critical thinking
3. Forms an online record of student achievement
4. Provides students an audience for their work Using Student Blogs Consider using EdModo or Google Reader to organise various blog entries created by students.
Unusually challenging task - since students must synthesize a variety of ideas together. Homework meets Web 2.0 Prezi and Glogster Quizlet EdModo/Google Reader useful for oral presentations or concept maps exchange flashcards and build a revision community technologies to ensure easy marking of blogs Marking Assessments Aim to systemise the method of submission,
but improve approaches to marking homework blogs marking Edmodo/comments Consider using Rubric Maker (Scholastic), iRubric Introducing topics Open a lesson with a reference to a current event in science (e.g. Google News)
Experiment between lengthy introductions and informal discussions to simple allusions
e.g. introductory slide to a presentaion could be a quotation or excerpt Taking questions Pose questions to draw from previous knowledge:
Have you heard about this topic before? Is there another unit that may be connected to this one in some way?
Ensure that questions explore depth of the topic. ? The Classroom Environment What is the cognitive benefit to proactively creating a space in which to experiment and innovate?
Does the importance of stimulation outside the lesson diminish in primary school or continue? arranging space desk layout environmental preferences In this information age, consider creating a space that stimulates to compete with other distractions. Key Concept! The Science Library 450 libraries are threatened with closure and the numbers are expected to rise
New releases and relevant science-related media is lacking; well-written and thought-provoking books are unavailable
Create a sanctuary within the classroom that incites a culture of exchanging information Food Ingestion and Digestion human body model with removable digestive system conceptual map to draw relationships between organ systems dissection of the digestive system of a fetal pig what is the socratic seminar? engaging pupils in dialogues by answering questions with additional, probing questions
technique enables students to think both critically and creatively to move the discussion forward
helps students attain a deeper understanding of an assigned text, concept or method high quality seminars participants carry the burden of responsibility for the quality of discussion
the best discussions occur when participants study the text closely in advance
use journals, articles and excerpts; exchange ideas openly while examining rigorously key elements of a seminar assigned reading or seminar "packets" the classroom environment the teacher's questions students should be able to see eachother clearly contain important and powerful ideas and values
be at the appropriate level in terms of complexity
have a degree of ambiguity asking the right questions questions must be prepared in advance, with room for spontaneous follow-up questions and debriefing
should lead participants into core ideas and concepts
use particular questions to move the discussion along interpretative or reading comprehension literal evaluative before the seminar during the seminar introduce the seminar and its purpose
assign reading or packets with excerpts effects of human activity on ecosystems pose a key question to open the discussion
ask participants to relate statements to evidence found in specific excerpts
refocus conversation and invite students not participating
summarise main ideas at the end of the discussion The Economist
"The Anthropocene: Man-Made World."
26 May 2011
(Key points in Energy and Ecosystems) Excerpt from
Coral: A Pessimist in Paradise by Steve Jones Climate change, human impacts and the resilience of coral reefs (Science, 2003) Do humans have any positive impact on ecosystems? an unexpected, open-ended question what evidence from the text do you have that most positive impact is limited to undoing damage already inflicted? how do we restore the balance of energy and matter in the environment? what is the difference between passive and active ecosystem conservation? what specific impact are we having on the nitrogen cycle according to the article in The Economist? after the seminar ask debriefing questions of the students
share your own experiences managing the seminar for the day
allow students to observe and mark other, "partner" students
ask students questions regarding their experiences (did it work well?) pupils are seldom engaged in debating scientific theories; integral to provide them with this skill
can use the "Mace Debate" format or a more tailored, informal and public format can be utilised
teacher has little involvement in this format, and is not directly participating to move it forward what is the ethical debate? Possible topics to explore The Ethics of Human Cloning and Regenerative Medicine
The Scientific Credibility of Global Warning
Genetically Modified Foods: Benefit or Threat?
Can we effectively prevent "Superbugs"? The Ethics of Cloning and Regenerative Medicine Scientific objections to cloning
(reduces variability) Technological benefits outweigh any social consequences Two teams of two debate an affirmative motion, "This House Believes"
Allow "point of information" between teams
Floor is opened at the conclusion; audience puts questions to debaters Possible Style of Debate Try Science Debate Kits I'm a Scientist blog lists new UK-based kits for teachers to utilise debates effectively in the A-level biology classroom
Sponsored by a Wellcome grant, so the product has been subject to rigorous review
Check out the EuroScience Open Forum video on The Missing Mediator: Science Debates in a Knowledge Based Society what are the benefits of debates and seminars? assists students in examining every side of important topics, which is a critical skill in exam performance
helps students collect and present evidence to participate in debates over controversial issues
studies show marked improvement in a wide variety of academic skills as a result of debate
(i.e. self-directed learning, reading comprehension) Why debate in the biology classroom? Even if only in the classroom, debaters tend to develop strong listening-skills which only aids absorption of classroom instruction on complex topics
Reason for the newly established DSI competition (Debating Science Issues) for secondary school students
(see Wellcome Trust/Science Foundation Ireland) the seeds of a successful debate or seminar have the facts been misrepresented, misinterpreted or ignored for ideological purposes? is the debate relying more on moralistic judgments rather than factual ones? are there frequent references to evidence? are students attempting to draw from individual knowledge? Why focus "beyond the classroom"? represents the intersection between the home environment and the classroom
provides more freedom through which supplementary activities can be administered
therefore, allows standards-based teaching (learning for exams) a welcome deviation The Underestimated Importance of Play introduction of engaging activities without a particular end in itself, is highly critical (according to new research in 'affective neuroscience'/cognition)
more autonomous learning (autodidactic) in an informal environment stimulates creativitiy and critical thinking What forms can it take? administration of any enrichment activities that may have not occurred during class (i.e. Socratic seminar, debates) afterschool science clubs school-level, national or international science fair participation The Science Club: Still Relevant? why has this concept grown so dramatically in the past few years?
does it still apply to A-level students? why?
how should it be administered and managed at a more advanced level? Possible avenues to consider inviting guest lecturers activities of varied length large events and field trips most destinations have an supplementary, age-appropriate classroom component if you request materials beforehand
continually explore new exhibits online (e.g. Punk Science/KS4 by Science Museum) Little Known Destinations of Interest (especially for A-level students) The Wellcome Collection
associated with UCL
provides free, pre-booked events
topical gallery tours The Hunterian Museum
associated with the Royal College of Surgeons
special events (e.g. quiz nights) for KS3/4 Exposure to University Lectures Possible through Widening Participation initiatives at Universities
Invite guest lecturers by looking up researchers in University directories by area of interest and sending e-mails
Many are suprisingly responsive, or would be happy to send a Ph.D. student Scheduling a club over term-time Advisable to create a tentative activity schedule before embarking on a science club
Use the schedule to "market" the club to students, using a culmination activity as incentive to join
Consider using a "passport" system to ensure attendance and continued interest Harness the power of competition Inspiring a spirit of competition can improve attendance and endow a sense of excitement to the club's environment
Begin a term-long competition or institute it for single activities FOGO Science Competition 2012
www.forensicoutreach.com/competition.html European Science Olympiad Novel activity ideas Begin with the end in mind: without referencing it, tailor the activities to aid understanding of specific A-level topics Gene expression
Population Ghost in Your Genes
Fetal Pig Dissection
Population Ecology Lab adapted from Lesson Plans Inc.com From Bees to Boardgames Represent a less intensive alternative to competition, creating a relaxed atmosphere
Start "A-level Biology Bees" using revision cards, Quizlet, or pre-selected questions
Uses a gradual elimination format, leaving one "Bee Winner" Being open to new possibilities Make it clear this is an environment where suggestions to deviate are implemented
Allow students to expand breadth of knowledge through seemingly tangential avenues
Group activities help to foster cohesiveness and mutual learning in the classroom (e.g. "giant" concept maps) The Science Fair Project The School-Level Project Competing Nationally International Fairs The Basic Benefits of the Science Fair create their own learning experience through innovation, just as scientists do
design display boards to communicate the stories of their projects (e.g. hypothesis, methodology)
participate as a community to learn from other projects present at the fair
improve presentation skills by interacting with adults by answering questions from visitors Considerations before the fair Setting goals for the fair is critical
Make the experience positive for every student
Ensure that every step of the method is followed
Teach students to enjoy educating themselves
Allow students to communicate with eachother
Encourage accomplishment through reward
Inspire interdisciplinary projects (e.g. computer science)
Set the date and place for the fair months before the fair 2 Determine a schedule for the fair
How long will it take to setup the room?
How long will judging take?
What about visits from other classes and students?
How long will clean-up and rearrangement take?
Plan science fair location details
Identify how many volunteers you need and recruit 1 month before the fair During the Fair Publicise the winners to raise awareness
Assist select winners to go onto other fairs
Conduct pupil perceptions and assessments After the Fair and Follow-Up Invite visitors to the fair
Use publicity posters and articles in newsletters
Decide on award categories, rubrics and method
Gather supplies and send out reminders Prepare the room
Conduct a brief orientation for the judges
Take a roster of participants and help setup
Support judging and monitor event
Direct visitors to less-popular projects
Tabulate scores, determine winners, and distribute awards Taking the next step Unfortunately, not many opportunities to advance to official ISEF fairs in UK
Big Bang Fair or Regional Fairs and Young Engineers Competition accept entries
Consider setting up your own regional fairs by consulting ISEF guidelines Worldwide science initiatives The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
The Google Science Fair
Both provide millions in scholarships and awards, and are often an informal prerequiste to entering high-caliber Universities in the USA What can I do to guide my students? Enlist the help of Universities to provide students with a potential mentor
Look to previous ISEF winners
Keep a buildable repository of topics and projects of past entrants Wrapping it Up Resources referenced and key points are available in the literature
For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Lighthouse Professional Development