Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Private Universe Project in Science

Workshop 4. Chemistry: A House With No Foundation (90 min.)

What do we see in the videotape?
The theme of Session Four is "choosing to teach fundamentals."

What happens in the videotape?
Teachers of elementary, middle, and high school compare their students' ideas about the particulate nature of matter. Older students seem more confused than younger ones; they do not believe that there is "nothing" between the particles.

What problem does this session address?
Teachers often state that their students are too young to think about abstract fundamental ideas. These subjects are often avoided. Older students, however, are required to build upon the very basic ideas avoided in the early years. If these ideas are not taught, when will students learn them?

What teaching strategy does this session offer?
Teachers learn to introduce students to modeling things they cannot see. Groups of students work at activities providing "data" about the phenomenon. The groups devise models to explain their data and defend these against the questions of others in the class.


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