Hi Darci,this is Chris Browne from Sterling - I was at that talk as well and I too had many of the same feelings of being guilty. However, from what I am getting from your STEM book - and correct me if I am wrong, is that "turning over the rock" is the research part of the process. Before students can form any kind of opinion (hypothesis), they have to know something - right? Does all research have to come from some form of language? I think you're right on and I'm looking forward to helping students turn over their own rocks.
Hi Chris, Thanks for the encouragement! I understand what you are saying. Yes, students must have some level of background knowledge before beginning a large-scale research project. I talk quite a bit about the importance of this in the STEM Research Handbook. However, I am heeding Dr. Goldstein's warning of teachers' ability to make students over-think everything, and therefore lose out on the fun aspect of it! Even after hearing him talk, I am convinced that allowing students to conduct full-scale research projects is just about the BEST thing we can provide our kids. Do we (teachers) do it perfectly? Are we emulating exactly how science is done by scientists? No. Will students still gain an appreciation for curiosity, and learn skills for studying the wonderful world around them? Absolutely! I too believe we are on the right track!
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