Have you ever had a kid sit down and sigh or say quietly under their breath (or not so quietly), " I hate science"?
I know that I have.
This challenge is ideal for educators in any setting including public school, private school. or homeschool. It doesn't stop there. This challenge is also suitable for after school program directors, camps, or daycares. This is about creating an environment that nurtures budding scientists in any setting, without exhausting you. We want to protect your sanity and your wallet which still making quality science happen.
The goal is to flip the script on science education and create a culture full of curiosity and persistence.1
Over the course of this 10 day challenge we will be talking about how to create lessons that students will look forward to. Each day you will have action items and the time commitment is small, but I know that in 10 days we can start teaching kids to love science instead of hating it. Maybe just maybe that will lead to amazing things.
This challenge starts now.
This challenge is called Stop Teaching Kids to Hate Science because that's exactly what happened to me. I have been in research science and/or a science educator for my entire adult life, but I hated science until I was a senior in high school. Not only that, but I thought I was not smart enough to be scientifically minded or to go into the sciences.
That's a hard sentence to write and an even harder sentiment to admit. It gets even harder when I realize that most of my time spent as an educator has been spent teaching the way I was taught. I look back over my long career, and ask myself how many kids did I teach to hate science the way I was taught to hate it? It feels like a disaster.
If you're teaching kids to hate science, it doesn't have to be that way. If you aren't sure, think about the following statements and consider if they apply to you:
Someone you will touch in your teaching might be the person that could either cure cancer, solve our energy crisis, or create agricultural practices that could alleviate famine. That person might be your child or someone else's and what if you were teaching that person to either hate science, that it isn't important, or even worse it isn't for them.
This is not about a guilt trip. This is about seeing a problem and wanting to do my part to make it different. I want us to change. Science and history are disciplines that use the skills of math and reading. Math and reading skills are essential for success but they are skills to be used in other disciplines. When we focus on math and reading to the exclusion of all other disciplines we are not teaching kids to be successful in the real world we're teaching them to be successful in school.
As a parent, I know I want more for my kids than good grades. As a teacher, I never want to ask myself if I've taught kids to hate science and have the answer be yes-ever again. These two realizations have changed how I teach and interact with my kids, other students, and the sciences.
If you've been teaching kids to hate science (like I have) it's OK. We can fix it and the great news is that it doesn't take nearly as long to turn it around as it did for you to teach them to hate it in the first place. You might've gotten here because you read an article or you clicked on a pin, but I know the real reason you're here is because you want to make a difference and you want to make a change.
I work with my kids on experiments and projects that have completely changed their internal voice about science.
I am not perfect and there are still times where science gets pushed a little due to schedules and other things, but we always come back to it because it is IMPORTANT. If you are struggling to make science happen a priority, sign up for this challenge so we can work together to provide the tools to spark curiosity and wonder.
Kim @ The Learning Hypothesis