Experiment, engage, educate!

Sultan Ismail

Teaching science is an art… the more creative and artistic a teacher is, the easier it is to draw a child into the realms of life science learning. Most classes on life sciences turn to be “lifeless”, as we teach the subject without exposing children to simple experiments that would generate enthusiasm in the child. In many schools there are classes where children are told about the basics of a plant inside a classroom on a blackboard even without an effort to relate the description to the real, living system. The child starts imagining a “living” plant as on the blackboard, or now the whiteboard. There are schools that use the OHP or a PowerPoint presentation to teach the subject, and usually this is far from reality and nature – even if the quality of visuals is better!

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I am aware that there are schools where the teacher hardly has time to plan for a model experiment as designed or prescribed in the textbook, but there certainly are avenues where some simple experiments can be done at school or the children could be asked to perform at home to kindle in them the interest to pursue life sciences.

Prof. Sultan Ismail is a soil biologist and ecologist and has been teaching since 1974. He can be reached at [email protected].

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