Sunday, February 12, 2006

Back At "It".

Okay, after a week of non-posting, I have recovered and am back at it.

This past week was interesting.

On Monday, I returned to my classes after sending them to the computer lab, with a sub, to investigate the bonding of atoms in molecules. Even with guided questions and web page suggestions, they did not spend much time trying to figure out the material for themselves. They even asked if they were going to " get points" for doing the activity. (ARRGH!!!) Will this be easier if I start it earlier with them?

In lab, I watched a lot of copying and not much comprehension.

Test on Friday. Same results as last year. New methods tried. Refinement needed in lessons. Will I figure this out? I mean the constructivist approach to science education. Is there an "Idiots Guide To" out there? Will students continue to ask me to teach them the material that is in the text? I understand that they might need clarification but "spoon feeding"? I mean come-on.


Barbara S. said...

I believe, Brian, that it is a very lengthy journey we are embarking upon. The process of changing students' attitudes about learning will come slowly. But, that said, we must start somewhere. You try. I try. The next group of teachers selected to join us try. Eventually students will accept responsibility for their own learning (not just work for a grade!). I know I have a few more years on you, but raising one's own children is similar to the type of change we are working toward. You have heard "It takes a community to raise a child". Well, it is going to take all of us at AHS to make a change. Also, the cliche "Don't worry, God is not done with me yet" kind of fits the situation because of the time required to facilitate the change we desire.

OK, 'nough for now...

Karl Fisch said...

I also believe it's going to take time. You're asking your students to do things that most of their teachers have not asked them to do before. I think, in a sense, we are writing the guide - at least as it applies to AHS. We need to continue to push ourselves - and each other - to focus on what we think is best for our students, and then figure out a way to achieve that.

To that end, what was your response to your students? I think a key piece of all of this is how do we respond - as teachers - when students don't live up to our expectations. If we simply accept the same old stuff from them, then we will not progress. But if you go back to them and discuss why you were disappointed and why you think it's so important for them to take charge of their own learning, then I think we've made a step. And, over time, all those steps - by all of us working together - will help us (and our students) achieve our goals.