School science textbooks suck, and science teachers aren’t so great either.
Carpenter says the best way to improve science teaching and learning involves training teachers to understand scientific concepts, practicing scientific inquiry the way real scientists investigate problems, confronting their own scientific reasoning and misconceptions, and generating and demonstrating scientific understanding.
But, but, they are certified professionals with education degrees. That’s all you need to be an effective teacher right?
To begin, the museum provided teachers with 32 hours of training in applied field biology and ecology, curriculum standards pertaining to water-related studies, and technology skills such as digital photography and data graphics. Then toxicologists, botanists, and hydrologists had the teachers don boots and backpacks and venture into a nearby canyon to learn about water quality, water conservation, and erosion, topics they’d soon be teaching to fourth- to sixth-graders.
Kids learn more when the teachers are actively engaged in the subject matter. Funny how hundreds of thousands of homeschooling families have known that for years, but it’s apparently news to the education profession.