Which comes first?

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Which comes first content or process? How do you adequately cover both content and process "knowledge" into your teaching?

How do teachers contend with discipline in their science lab activities- I need hints. Does anybody have any cooperative learning strategies that acually works- please don't suggest the "pat answers" like give students roles, etc... I need clear examples to show teachers.

-- Yvette Sy (yvettesy@hotmail.com), October 11, 2000


I will address the content and process question first. I just came from a MERC (Formerly STAC) workshop and had a chance to view again parts of the film Minds of our Own. I think every science teacher should have an opportunity to view the film and discuss it with a knowledgeable supervisor or staff developer.

Why? Because I think the film presents convincing evidence that learning content cannot take place independent of process. That sounds a little abstract, but the film demonstrates what that means in a way that would take me far too many words to describe.

As for the practical matter of HOW to integrate content and process, there are no quick answers to that question. I think at this point we are more interested in addresssing the WHY of integrating process and content and taking small steps in that direction. Frankly, if we had an unlimited budget we would not be able to answer the "how" question on a grand scale (grades 5-8, all core objectives) for the foreseeable future, because there is NO PROGRAM OUT THERE NOW THAT DOES IT, and it takes time to develop such a program. We are involved in a journey toward that goal. I hope that we can support each other in the meantime.

-- Michael Gatton (mg143@aol.com), October 12, 2000.

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