Mending the Broken Link: The Critical Need for Science Teachers in Inner-City Elementary Classrooms

This beautifully-written personal account by Dr. Katya Denisova in NSTA Reports addresses one of the main reasons why I do what I do.

As I worked with K–5 teachers individually, I gradually learned that despite their excitement and willingness to carve out time for science in daily schedules packed with math and language instruction, one important factor impedes our progress. Many science lessons are almost entirely activity-focused, with little or no explicit teaching of science content. Students simply follow directions and carry out activities without being required to think about scientific explanations and reasoning. Some teachers hesitate to discuss scientific ideas with their students, fearing they may not be able to answer all the questions students may have. These teachers need science-content mentoring to boost their confidence in their ability to teach science. […]

Providing mentoring, coaching, and professional development in science content to our elementary educators is critically needed. Just like a pianist needs to know “do-re-mi” as the audience embarks on the discovery of the beauty of music, our preK–5 teachers need to know the fundamentals of science to capture their students’ imagination with the beauty of science.

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