Wednesday, April 21, 2010

just an observation

My wife is an elementary media specialist, which means librarian to most people. I help out as much as I can which means I put lots of books on the shelf. To give you an idea, to date, this school year, she has checked out almost 8000 books. All of which must be put back on the shelves.

My observation: Elementary kids (boys and girls) check out enormous amounts of books in the 500's and 600's of your basic Dewey system. These books are science and applied science. Dinosaurs and horses/farm animals/pets are checked out the most but all of geology, biology, chemistry and physics are well represented.

Why is it then that many of the elementary teachers I meet are so hesitant to teach science when obviously their students are more than ready for the challenge?

Next week I will be in DC the whole week getting more training with the JASON project of National Geographic. This program aims teaching good science to middle school kids.


Anonymous said...

Give a shout while you're in town. Let's go hike the Billy Goat Trail or something.

Garry Hayes said...

My immediate observation on yours is that teachers have little or no science background when they emerge from a liberal arts program to get their teaching degree. Science just isn't considered a priority in the face of math and English requirements. There is a vivid moment in my memory from childhood where I realized I knew more about astronomy than my elementary school teacher. It's true I was a geek, but this is too often a real weakness of our education system.

Victoria said...

Maybe the globalisation will help the teachers over the world to share more from their experience, about total different systems of education, where they are working:
- your observation Garry is so true about background’ teachers in N America
- in the same time, the European education requests maybe is too much and not so useful for students when they become adults: Physics starting with grade 6 and Chemical Sciences starting with grade 7
- about education systems of Asians countries, not so sure how high are their requirements
As a parent, really I hope the teachers will share more in order to understand more about the efficiency of the education systems where they are working, and the fact we should educate our children, preparing them very well for life and for work environment, which is day by day more demanding.