"But I'm not sciency!"
I've heard that statement a lot and it resonates with me because I thought and said similar statements too. Yet, I wasn't half bad at science in school. My biggest inhibitor was how I perceived myself as a learner.
|In the field, Antarctica|
Here, I thought I'd find the answers, but like any science, it lead to more questions. Instead, I went on a journey of discovery which had me identify the biggest barriers to my learning at school.
As teachers, we know what limits a student's learning is their own self-belief, so, for the whole three months of the course I was constantly battling with this and being conscious of what I was feeling in regards to it. I felt like I was always on the edge of my Zone of Proximal Development. Whether
Since then, I have observed many students step outside their zones and their anxiety has manifested in many ways. Most often disruptive, as a way to avoid the task or the risk which comes from being involved in the task. I've noticed when the student has observed the task being carried out from the safety of their 'time out' area, they do reintroduce themselves back into the work.
However, that starts with us as teachers. We need to take risks and acknowledge ourselves as learners with the students. We have a responsibility to provide these experiences to our students as there is the chance they will not receive them elsewhere. We need to get away from our own perceptions of knowledge and start exploring the ways of how we might know, and what's great is by relinquishing the control and opening it up to the students, we receive a variety of ideas based on their individual backgrounds to build from.
The Antarctic experience was invaluable. I expected to gain knowledge to enhance my teaching, but gained insight into being a learner and overcoming my anxiety around the learning process.
Now, I say 'I'm sciency' to my students and once discussing and building our ideas of what science and scientists are, hope they do too. Most importantly, we have fun while doing so.
|TEDTalk explaining ideas of science|