Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Changes at Work

This has been an awesome year at work, although making biology
more relative and interesting for students is really more like play.

We're viewing our college courses as a keystone experience,
bridging the gap between K-12 formal education and lifelong
informal learning beyond the university.

Our students have a lot of family and school experiences before
they come to our courses and they will someday be using their
knowledge as they work, vote, and raise families of their own.

I'm interested in how ephemera, including books, toys, specimens,
and classroom artifacts can represent a lifetime of science learning.
I'm also designing assemblages of objects that students can use
to reflect on rich science experiences and knowledge.

Mark and I are also interested in exploring how students revisit
childhood science ideas and representations of nature when
they have children and grandchildren of their own.
We all revisit similar concepts throughout our lifetimes:
what we do each time we encounter the flu, steps to setting up a
garden each spring, or how we respond to local environmental issues.
Mark coined the term "Learning Life Cycle" as in us revisiting
aspects of science repeatedly throughout our lives.

 My office is overflowing with books and other resources.
We're brimming with ideas and have nowhere near enough time
to get them all done.

 Last year we taught over 2500 students.  Even if a new
activity or object only sticks with a small percentage, we are
making a difference and that is really motivating.

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