A Story of Global Inquiry in Action

Eighth Article in the Series, Artistry in Teaching

In this article I am going talk about a project that grew out of personal and professional relationships among teachers from different countries.  Through reciprocal exchanges among educators in U.S. (most of whom where from schools in Georgia) and Russia (most of whom were from Moscow, Pushchino and St. Petersburg) a project emerged from the ground up to creation of the Global Thinking Project, a project steeped in inquiry and humanistic education.… Read more

Why in a liberal democracy are we centralizing education reform?

Why is the United States moving toward a centralized reform of education in a society that is based on democratic principles, and at a time when other countries are moving in the opposite direction? In his book, Catching Up or Leading the Way, Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, the University of Oregon, compares and contrasts the changes that are taking place in the United States and China. He points out at the beginning of his book that China wants an educational systems that America seems to trying to destroy.… Read more

Ecology Projects

I recently received an announcement of an ecology program from John Kamman whose organization sponsors field science and cultural exchange projects.  The organization is Ecology Project International and has projects and programs in Montana, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Galapagos.  Their website describes many opportunities for students and teachers in the field of ecology and environmental education.  The email couldn’t have been more relevant given the Gulf Oil Spill disaster is wrecking havoc on the ecosystems and people in the entire Gulf region.… Read more

Earthday and the Global Thinking Project

In 1987 I met Sergey Tolstikov, who at the time was the lead English teacher at Moscow Experimental Gymnasium 710.  Sergey, along with many of his colleagues at School 710, and other schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time), Pushchino, Yasoslav, and Chelyabinsk teamed up with American teachers to create the Global Thinking Project, a hands-across the global environmental science and education program.  Over the years we supported exchanges of secondary school students and their teachers, researchers from the Russian Academy of Education, Georgia State University, & Agnes Scott College.  … Read more

Three Ways to Interest Students in Science

Perhaps the fundamental goal of science education should be finding ways to interest students in science.  Stephen Hornstra Landgraaf, (The Netherlands) made this statement as part of his comment in my previous post.  In this era of standards-based education we leave most students outside of science, and do little to bring them in to see a connection between their own lives and the joy of science.

Yet even in these high-stakes testing times, there are some powerful ways in which science educators are interesting students, young and older, alike. … Read more

Action-Oriented Science Education

Last night my wife and I had dinner with very close friends of ours, Jenny & Dennis Springer. Dr. Jenny Springer, former principal of Dunwoody High School, and Associate Superintendent of Dekalb County Schools (Georgia) was an administrator that created an environment in which teachers thrived, and excelled in their work with students. I first met her in 1986 while I was teaching a course at Georgia State University that was based in a DeKalb County High School at which she was principal.… Read more

Transforming science teaching through social activism: Is it a viable goal?

There was a very interesting new comment made on an earlier post entitited Should science teaching be political: A Humanistic Question.  In that post I explored the ideas of researcher Wildson dos Santos, who had published an article: Scientific literacy: A Freirean perspective as a radical view of humanistic science education.

In the comment made, and in the view of dos Santos, science education is challenged to rethink the nature of scientific literacy as more than simply an understanding (as measured on end-of-course and other types of high-stakes examinations) of canonical science as defined in the National Science Education Standards.… Read more

From Earthday to Earthmonth: A Holistic Approach to Science Teaching

On Wednesday (Today) we celebrate Earthday, founded on April 22, 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson, and around the world it is a day that focuses on educating all of us for the environment with activities, celebrations, conferences, and programs.

earth_hands-3You can visit the Earthday Network to explore a myriad of resources that are available to us to further our understanding and involvement in environmental education and environmental science activities, as well as political & economic developments.… Read more

Holistic Teaching: Integrating ideas of Vernadsky & Lovelock into science teaching

The opening sentence in John Miller’s book, The Holistic Curriculum is that holistic education attempts to bring education into alignment with the fundamental realities of nature. Nature at its core is holistic,interrelated and dynamic. As such we have much to learn about curriculum from environmental education, and the science-technology-society (STS) movement (each developed In previous posts.

The essence of Vernadsky’s concept of the biosphere, and Lovelock’s Gaia theory reflect Miller’s construct.

However, curriculum, for the most part, has been broken into fragmented pieces, even within a single discipline, such as our own field of science.… Read more