Science has always been a subject that I assumed was taught one way, by memorizing and applying formulas and verifying previously discovered scientific laws in order to engage in the scientific process. In my time both in the classroom and in the Curry school, I have come to realize that my previous belief could not be further from the truth. Effective science education should involve students using their collected body of knowledge to construct explanations to observed phenomena and develop solutions to given problems. Inquiry based learning provides far better pathways for students to develop their scientific understanding while also fostering growth in skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and argumentation. My time in the classroom has made it very clear that students learn best when they can use their creative and knowledge to create a unique product.
In this portfolio, I have strived to include a variety of inductive teaching methods that will benefit student engagement and encourage lasting learning. Lessons utilizing problem based learning and engineering design will push my students to look beyond the formula and begin asking critical questions that will allow them to reach new levels in their learning. By using these resources, I hope to increase student motivation by making them invest in their learning by providing a relatable and relevant problem to solve. Additionally, the lessons I have created for this portfolio have allowed me to observe the benefits of teaching students the process along with the knowledge. This portfolio has also demonstrated to me the importance of keeping an archive of inquiry materials. Inquiry is something that can scare away science teachers due to it being an unfamiliar style. If I keep a detailed portfolio, I can work to change that in my own school and improve the overall scientific education across different content areas.
My time at the Curry School has taught me a great deal about effective science teaching. Science teachers have to be more than just instructors; they have to be collaborators, consultants, designers, engineers, and guides. Science has to be experienced by students through engineering projects or case studies so that they can develop their own learning experiences and experience more lasting learning. Despite my time here, I know that there is much that I still do not know about teaching. In order to ensure that I do not become stagnant in my teaching style, I will ensure to stay in constant communication with my cohort members in order to discuss and refine new ideas in the profession. That is what is truly exciting about science, the fact that it is always changing and that new ideas are always sprouting. By utilizing inductive teaching methods, I hope I will be able to help these new ideas grow into the next great discoveries of tomorrow.