How many of us have fond memories of Year 9 science? I suspect most of us don’t unless we had a natural aptitude for the subject.
The reality is it probably had something to do with the way the subject was taught – a one size fits all approach to science that was far removed from our lives and yet integral to understanding the world around us.
For John Hattie, a good teacher is able to turn on the challenge of physics, chemistry or Year 9 science for every student.
Last week, I was invited into a Year 9 science class and saw young men challenged and engaged in their learning. Their teacher, Br Anthony is using a project-based learning (PBL). Click here to listen to Br Anthony on PBL.
I found it an engaging experience to watch two students (whom I later discovered have been struggling) stand in front of their peers and deliver a presentation on “Energy and Ecology”.
The subsequent class discussion of which I was a part, on global warming and alternate energy sources was lively and well-informed and it’s encouraging to know that these students see themselves as part of the solution!
I saw a science teacher who was passionate about his subject and committed to using PBL to engage and challenge students in a real-world context and showcasing their work.
Teaching is a science and good teaching is about the continual examination of the evidence of what you are doing and how it is impacting on learning outcomes. At its very core is a fundamental understanding of the learner.
There are many more examples like this – we just need to share them.