As a former Science teacher, I can’t help but reflect on the fact that Science has the power to pull all of the subject areas together. A well designed and executed Science curriculum can incorporate Literacy, Math, Social Studies, Art, Music, Physical Education as well as higher order thinking and creativity.

So why do so many curricula push Science aside to a few periods week, promote disjointed teaching, and focus mostly on Reading and Math?

In my experience, a child can learn measurement, graphing and basic computation while also learning how to write reflections, answer open-ended questions, complete observational drawings, explore the physics of sound and fly homemade kites to learn about air pressure.  All before leaving elementary school.

If we want to increase engagement, academic achievement and promote a love of learning, we need to make a place for Science Inquiry in our classrooms and our schools.

4 Comments

  1. Irene Tortolini

    Reply

    I agree! Teaching thematically with a science theme always allowed this in my first grade classroom. It's a shame but our school day has now been broken into isolated subject areas. But the saving grace will be the creativity of the classroom teacher to link these subjects together somehow. Takes a bit more imagination and ingenuity, but it can be done!

  2. Reply

    That's a simple answer … because until recently, science wasn't being assessed on the PSSA.

    By the way, the proper plural form of "curriculum" is "curricula."

  3. Reply

    Mark,

    Thanks for the spelling correction! I've never seen it written plural anywhere that I can remember!

    True, that unless something is tested it isn't taught, but Science is often put to the wayside in elementary school no matter what state you're in or what a district's test scores are. Yet, the government keeps talking about how we need to catch up with our Asian counterparts in Science and Math.

    In addition, the School District of Philadelphia spent millions of dollars about 5 years ago purchasing Science materials (great ones–FOSS & STC) for all elementary classrooms, actually wrote a Science Curriculum, and very few teachers teach it because of the stress put on Math and Reading. Why did they bother, I wonder?

    Aside, of course, from your obvious answer!

    Thank you, by the way, for all of your thought provoking and challenging comments on my posts! Most appreciated.

  4. Reply

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