Monday, September 7, 2009

Conversation with roomies

One of my roommates is teaching middle school science for the first time. He was a second grade teacher last year, and is an intervention teacher this year. Because of late-term retirements, he is teaching as a sub in a 6th grade classroom.

He asked me today about how to teach science, specifically physical and chemical weathering. I gave him my best idea in 30 seconds: Use concept attainment to have students come up with ideas with how different objects are effected by rubbing. He said "We don't really teach science like that, we give students things to read and they answer questions about it." I told him "That's not science, that's teaching natural history." He responded "I'm just doing what I'm told."

The problem is we are both right. He isn't teaching science, and that's what his administration is telling him is right. Adding to the dichotomy, another roommate comments on how the '5 E' lesson plan is at odds with testing. Exactly.