As the fourth largest state in the union, Montana extends to regions so sparsely populated students attend one-room schools staffed by teachers whose nearest colleague might be a hundred miles away. While news of education reforms may reach these rural teachers, opportunities to examine and discuss them with peers are rare. EDC’s Center for Science Education (CSE) wants to change that.
Bernie Zubrowski has spent much of his professional life devising ways to educate young people when they are out in the world, away from the classroom. In more than 23 years with Boston’s Children’s Museum and other museums in the U.S., Great Britain, India, Sweden and Bahrainand in several EDC projectsZubrowski’s quest has led him to design activities that illuminate scientific principles with very simple materials.
In preschool classrooms around the world, children build structures with blocks, knock them over, and start again. In Cindy Hoisington’s Head Start classroom in Roslindale, Massachusetts, children also build with blocks. But before they get the pleasure of watching their structures tumble, her students are documenting what they’ve built. Sometimes they photograph the structures; sometimes they draw them with paper and pen; and sometimes they create small-scale replicas of their large structures with foam blocks and glue.
At the heart of Project ASSIST is the action reflection process, a carefully structured, time-limited discussion format that focuses on the work of three students chosen by their classroom teacher to represent the range of students in his or her class.
In the summer of 1960, reverend Solomon B Caulker, an African college administrator from Sierra Leone, travelled to Israel to attend an international conference on improving science education in developing countries. After listening to several papers on nuclear power, Caulker stood up to address the group.
In a large conference room, several groups of adults gather around an assortment of batteries, copper wires, and light bulbs. Their task is to discover how many different ways they can illuminate the bulbs using only this rudimentary electrical equipment.