I’ve been conducting hands-on-minds-on teacher training workshops since 1987 throughout the nation and lately conducting teacher training abroad as well. With over 650 teacher training workshops under my belt from 3 hour sessions to 10-day institutes one constant remains the same, “Change comes from within.” For the most part teachers are willing to try new teaching methods within their classroom. However, there are always the few teachers that are resistant to change their ways. Attending a teacher training workshop is only the first step to making real change within the classroom, what teachers choose to do with what they learned is the determining factor as to whether the training experience was valuable. The point is, “change comes from within.” The movement to implement inquiry-based science practices and learning within all K-12 science classrooms has been on the forefront of education reform for close to twenty-years. Yet there are still so many teachers who are unaware of what an inquiry-based science classroom really looks like. What is the role of the teacher and the student in an inquiry-based science classroom? Essentially, it’s up to the individual teacher to decide what form of inquiry-science best fits their teaching style as well as the group of students to whom they are teaching. One teacher may choose to use a structured inquiry format, while another chooses a guided approach, and yet another implements an open-ended inquiry approach. It’s difficult enough to be an excellent science teacher, let alone master effective inquiry-based practices on a daily-basis. I found a great article by Carl J. Wenning, Department of Physics, Illinois State University Implementing inquiry-based instruction in the science classroom: A new model for solving the improvement-of-practice problem. Wenning’s article brings to light the difficulty of actually implementing inquiry-oriented pedagogical practices within the classroom. Just because a teacher has attended inquiry-based professional staff development, and has learned how to conduct scientific inquiry does not automatically translate to implementation of inquiry-based instruction. In the end, I do believe change must come from within. A teacher who is not comfortable with inquiry-oriented pedagogical practices is not going to change their existing practices, it’s just that simple. To read Wenning’s article in detail see the following link in the Journal of Physics Teacher Education.
Posts Tagged ‘teacher training workshops’
Teaching Science Concepts Through Early Childhood Children’s Literature, A Teacher Training WorkshopDiana Wehrell-Grabowski on June 3, 2011 in Teacher Training Workshops No Comments »
On a recent Saturday in May seventy early childhood teachers attended a six hour hands on science teacher training workshop I conducted. The workshop was sponsored by the Brevard Early Learning Coalition. Teachers were introduced to approximately 80 children’s literature titles that can be incorporated into the early childhood classroom to teach literacy, science, math, art, social studies, cultural concepts, as well as gross-motor skills. It was a great group of teachers. Very eager to actively explore numerous concepts through hands-on investigations. It was a great group of teachers, very motivated and eager to expand upon their existing content knowledge as they conducted a wide-array of hands-on-minds-on explorations. Throughout the workshop teachers were encouraged to share their successful approaches to integrating science within their own classrooms. The following 116 photos give a brief glimpse of the many explorations the early childhood teachers conducted during the day-long workshop. Teachers explored the following concepts:
How to incorporate children’s literature into the science classroom;
Exploring shapes and patterns in nature and man-made objects;
Building structures with various materials;
Living creatures; and
A few of the children’s literature books used during the workshop follows. The books can be purchased through Amazon via this site.