Catering for natural scientists
Primary teachers tell me that once they get something going with kids it works well but they don’t know what to start with.
Kids are natural scientists. Science is not a bunch of facts like how high Mt Everest is or how deep is the deepest ocean. Science is a dynamic process of trying to understand the universe, which is always changing.
I go to primary schools and the kids are open and will ask anything. Not so at high schools. We need a dedicated science teacher in schools so they know what pathways to take primary kids down, in the same way you need someone who knows how to teach music. Science is about demonstration and you need someone like the Surfing Scientist http://www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/ in every school.
If you can’t achieve that, his website is a good resource. Here’s one to try. Get a flat bowl and fill it with water. Put four different coloured M&Ms in at separate ‘corners’ from each other. As they dissolve watch what happens with the coloured dye. He showed this one to me and I was blown away. Demonstration is best.
In Australia, we are in a phase where education is regarded as an unnecessary and intolerable burden on society rather than as an investment in our future. Until that changes we are not likely to see dedicated science teachers in schools, unless the music teacher goes or the sports program is cut. In Germany degrees are free and in Asia teachers are treated with great respect. Until there is a change in Australia we are not going to do much about getting a dedicated science teacher in primary schools.