The main objective in teaching science is to inculcate interest and develop scientific aptitude in students. The challenge lies in fostering curiosity among them and keep the light ignited that keeps them on their toes. This curiosity will help them to explore the unexplored.A student's interest in science can be inculcated by enhancing their natural curiosity and connecting science to their daily lives. To help students develop an even deeper understanding (and form questions of their own). The teacher here, plays a key role as she creates scenarios, advanced ideas and simulations that can help build better understanding of science among students.
Human brains can remember stories than just plain facts. Therefore explaining the facts of biology or the laws of physics in the form of stories can help. Students love to hear stories and therefore, concepts such as Structure of Brain, Mendel’s Laws of Inheritance, Evolutionary history, working of the heart and hormonal coordination in our body are better understood and the best way to get the attention of the children in the class and thereby develop curiosity among them to know more about these topics. Present the whole concept as a story to open a session and end the session helps the students to organize concepts mentally.
A very well tried and tested method to foster interest especially at middle and high school level is to engage them in various kinds of activity. The students can intellectually and physically be involved through hands on activities while learning a new concept.
Students must have an opportunity to create context and explore ideas from them. They interact with surroundings, hold conversations with subject experts, make relevant notes and attempt to modify the nearby objects. While in the field, concepts such as crop improvement techniques, determination of PH using samples available in the surroundings, Poultry Farming, Aqua Culture, pisciculture are well understood.
Another key method to teach science vocabulary is to initiate a topic which will allow the children to ponder upon. Let them talk in between the lectures about the experience they had with an application related to the topic of discussion. This promotes an interest and involvement in science as they communicate using scientific and technical terms. This should be made a classroom strategy to help students to easily learn science vocabulary.
Including quiz as part of classroom sessions when teaching science will help active participation among one and all the students. This can be done as a whole class activity by splitting the group into 4 or more sets. The questions can include the application of the theory taught in class. Students can discuss and share ideas to find the solution within the stipulated time frame. This teaching approach helps students to think from different angles and sometimes, to think out of the box.
Integrating chemistry with environmental studies by testing local water and soil samples and trying to understand the impact of the findings in the nature. Again, through taste test – tasting more acidic and more alkaline food to see how chemistry impacts what one eats.
This article has been written by Anita Sahgal, high school teacher, Ryan International, Noida
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