Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Decline of Creative Teaching

Science has always been one of my passions. Teaching science for many years was one of my greatest joys. My training for science teaching at LSU was by one of the foremost teacher educators in our state, Dr Barbara Strawitz.

Dr Strawitz taught me to teach science using the inquiry/investigative approach. That means that most science concepts were introduced to students in a laboratory setting where students were led to truly understand science by actually conducting experiments and analyzing data just as scientists do. Because of this exciting and logical approach, many of my students became inspired by science as well as gaining a deep understanding of the concepts. Even today, after 30 years, some of my students meet me in the grocery store and recount how exciting they thought our Physics class was. I don't think many teachers in Louisiana are allowed teach that way anymore.

Today we are concentrating mostly on preparing students to give the "right" answer on multiple choice tests rather than being inspired by a subject such as science or history or english literature. Soon teachers will not be required to be trained by professional educators such as Dr Barbara Strawitz. They will only need to know how to become test teachers. What will their students say to them 30 years from now when they meet by chance? Will they even remember their teachers?

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