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ERIC Number: EJ1035148
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Methods and Strategies: Learning Science in Cultural Context
Yarema, Sandra; Grueber, David; Ferreira, Maria
Science and Children, v51 n5 p66-69 Jan 2014
Teachers in districts with high rates of poverty and low-achieving schools often lament the lack of resources for instruction. However, when a teacher in a third-grade inner-city classroom began a lesson about natural resources by saying, "We will find out what we know before we start," she used a precious resource--students' ideas. Mrs. Majors's lesson opening represents an important constructivist teaching disposition: Begin with what the students know. Students' ideas and experiences, no matter the classroom, are an important resource for teachers committed to academic achievement for underserved students. Teachers' perspectives toward students' ideas and experiences is a key factor in hindering or promoting student learning. Seeing the students, school, and community resources as deficits may hinder students' learning; utilizing them as resources may promote it (Nieto 1999). The teacher's goal should be to harmonize or build a bridge between the students' experiences and science. Cities provide rich material resources to explore both the natural and built environment. Mrs. Majors is able to use this urban school yard as a resource for the children to explore and build toward a shared experience. Accordingly, learning theory that encompasses students' experiences as a resource is helpful to use when students experiences are different from their teacher's. In this article the authors share the guiding principles to harmonize teaching during a yearlong professional development project funded by the state department of education, and the result of those principles enacted in a classroom.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A