Wonder, Integration, Mastery: The Model that Transforms Science Instruction

Workshop Speaker: John D. Mays

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About This Workshop

The first goal of science instruction is for students to learn science. This requires replacing the ubiquitous Cram-Pass-Forget cycle with a pedagogy aimed at learning, mastery, and retention. Mastery is best pursued in the context of the whole realm of qualities that make us human—the immense spectrum of the human spirit and mind. Our pedagogy must emerge from an anthropology. The model proposed here has mastery firmly in view, coupled with a fundamental engagement with the human spirit. First, we appeal to the human spirit through the natural human faculty of wonder. Next, we involve the whole mind in the learning process through integration in four key areas, each of which is of supreme importance to science instruction—epistemology, mathematics, history, and language. Finally, we organize science classes around a robust mastery-learning model. The goal of mastery is supported by the integration. And the entire structure is propelled by the never-ending capacity of humans for marveling at our beautiful world.

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