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Science is discovery and exploration. It is asking important questions and searching for answers. It also is testing those answers and not being afraid to fail and make another attempt in hopes of getting it right. Science is about trial and error and more trial and error and is an area that applauds this. Science takes failure and makes meaning of it, allowing it to aid in future discovery.
According to our DeRosa and Abruscato (2019), science is defined as “a way to explain our natural world in a systematic and evidentiary way.” This, for me, is a very true statement. Science is all about the process and steps that you must take to get results that can be count on, whether they are results you hypothesized or not. Without the systematic steps, the results cannot be relied on.
I enjoyed science as a child, when we were able to study it. In elementary school, there was not as much opportunity for it. In high school, I enjoyed it but it honestly was not that memorable for me. I was never anti-science. I enjoyed the science of psychology when I first began college. There was something reassuring about studies I read, and that was likely because of the approach all of those researches had to take in order to glean their results. It was impressive to me, the time invested in performing in depth experiments and the in the writing up of the reports and making sense of them. In graduate school, I aided a professor in her research and it was exciting to be a part of something that would later be published and to be able to view the process from her perspective. Fast forward to years later when I was asked if I’d rather teach fifth grade math or science, I naturally chose science, realizing that would be a “favorite” of students. I was absolutely right but there was a huge learning curve, as I never covered weather or force and motion in my own elementary school experience. This made it necessary for me to not only learn the material but also learn how to present it to students, make it engaging and important to them, and then making them proficient enough to test well on the subject. This has made science especially important to me, and has led me here, to this course.
Elementary students should learn science for all of the reasons I mentioned above. It is important to develop a background in this area and ties in to many many fields of education and work that will later benefit every student. It’s also important to be able to explain the phenomenon occurring around us, and to be knowledgeable about the world and beyond.
DeRosa and Abruscato, (2019). Teaching children science: A discovery approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
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