What does equity of access mean to diverse learners?

Science is a topic that can pull a student right into wondering and asking questions.  Or it can be overhwleming and scary and make them feel inadequate/unable to learn.

Love the fact that I’m a part of a virtual network of teachers who actively study these ideas and develop conversations to address these issues with practical solutions.  Love how Twitter chats allow us to draw ideas from people all over the country and based those discussions on research-based strategies that apply to the content that I love the most and want to share with each and every student that comes into my room.

How does this happen in your content area?  Is the topic even addressed?

Come and join in the conversation.  It takes a wide array of voices to figure this out and we need everyone’s expertise and experience.

  • marsharatzel

    Tip #1: Connect to their world.

    During the Twitter chat, one of the ingredients of a science lesson for all learners is relevance.  

    How does what I’m about to learn apply to my life and the context in which I live my life?

    Seems like a question we all need to know for all students at all times.  Doesn’t it?

    All too often, we short-circuit what we know is best practice in favor of what is expedient.  (I can definitely relate to that sentiment in a work environment where I’m expected to more and more and more with the same amount of time.)

    So #1 thing to making the lesson applicable to all students is to find a connection to their world.  What is going on in the community and/or in their daily lives that connects to curriculum that I need to cover?  Science is an easy connection because it’s everywhere you look.

    • Read the local headlines
    • Watch the TV news headlines
    • Ask students what they already know about the topic, LISTEN.   And then build unit from things that they’ve identified as relevant to their sphere.
    • Think.  How could I get students doing science beyond these four walls?  Is there a connection to the community….could I go outside the building and do something?  Are there places that have a special meaning for my class.

    Lots of examples where students knew of things in their neigborhood that either really excited them or really frustrated them.  Building on their existing student engagement and figuring how to fit the curriculum around those interests gives any teacher a significant head start.  Here’s how one of the teachers put it.

    I’ll bring more tips that real, in-the-trenches teachers shared during the Twitter chat in upcoming posts.

     

  • Frank Luke

    Why are we learning this?

    A lot has been said in favor of relating what we teach to the "real world" and how it affects "students in their context". Having more than 15 years' experience in various industries – Petrochemicals, Agrochemicals, Power Generation, Health Care, etc. I have been informing my students about the significance of what I teach them in Math and Physics with several examples based on my personal experiences and many gleaned from the internet. However, educators need to understand that the scientific and mathematical facts mankind has discovered over the years have been handed down to us – many a time by those who did not have any use for it. Mankind subsequently found a use for those truths in later generations. Scientific and Mathematical facts need to be learned in order for them to be handed down to future generations, and someone in the future can find a use for it. We must not give K-12 students the impression that it is imperative for teachers to inform them the application of the truths we teach them.

    • marsharatzel

      More information please

      Hi Frank,

      Wow….when you said However, educators need to understand that the scientific and mathematical facts mankind has discovered over the years have been handed down to us – many a time by those who did not have any use for it.”  My head just tilted because what you said didn’t make any sense.

      It still doesn’t, but I’d like to understand your idea.

      I wondered if you could give me an example of something you were thinking about when you said this.