Hot Topics for Teaching Science -- What are yours?

Dear Science Educators,

Summer graduations have come and gone this month, and many of you may have some “down time” to catch up on projects and prepare for fall classes.  Summertime is a great time to further one’s own professional development in science education!

One beneficial use of this forum could be for us to choose one or more main topics that we’d like to explore here together this summer. If you agree, then please tell us:

What hot topics, burning questions, or areas regarding science are you interested in hearing more about? (For example, STEM instructional practices, field expeditions, local citizen science projects, using current events to teach science, etc.)

Be sure to (re)introduce yourself; tell us your name, where you’re from, and if there’s a particular reason why the topic is relevant to you / your students.

I’ll then plan an event for us, either as an online discussion, a webinar, or something similar so that we can learn together and advance our teaching practices. Please let me know your thoughts by next Friday so that I may set the plans in motion!

Looking forward,

Jackie Taylor

Science COP Moderator

Comments

Hi everyone! I trust your summer's going well. I didn't get an answer to my question, and I don't think many of you saw it so I am re-sending. I'd like to plan a guest discussion based on some of your suggestions.  Please let me know your thoughts! Image removed.

What hot topics, burning questions, or areas regarding science are you interested in hearing more about? (For example, STEM instructional practices, field expeditions, local citizen science projects, using current events to teach science, etc.)

Happy Friday!

Jackie Taylor

Moderator, Science Community of Practice

Hi Jackie:

Great question!  This might be very mundane but I hear two hot topics as I talk with teachers:  (1) How can I locate science resources that will help my students (and me!) prepare for the new high school equivalency tests? and (2) How can I use science content that explicitly weaves reading-writing-numeracy skills into the lesson?

Cynthia Zafft

 

Hi Cynthia, All,

Cynthia, I don't think it's mundane at all, but rather very practical! Thanks for the suggestions.

I recently read an EdWeek article called All Teachers Are STEM Teachers. In it the author advocates that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines should be integrated across disciplines -- transdisciplinary -- and into every day instruction. The "Brookings Institution reported in 2013 about the Hidden STEM Economy," he notes, "stating that 50 percent of STEM jobs needed now and in the future actually require sub-bachelor levels of education."

He goes on to advocate that "This critical need and the idea of promoting students to pursue a sub-bachelor’s education have been extremely unpopular. Regardless, we need to change “College and Career Ready” to “Career and College Ready.”"

This leads me to three questions, based on this discussion:

  • If adult education teachers are not scientists or certified to teach science, do they necessarily feel comfortable and competent in teaching science?
  • How do we ensure adult learners are ready to pass the "science" portion of the HSE test?
  • How can we integrate science, in particular, within a transdisciplinary approach to adult education so that students can be "Career and College Ready?"

I look forward to hearing what others think.

Jackie Taylor

Moderator, Science Community of Practice

jackie@jataylor.net

On Twitter: @jataylor10