Nurturing the spirit of inquiry

Anna Neena George

As a teacher-educator, I train science post graduates to become teachers of science. In my years as a teacher trainer I have noticed that these student teachers themselves are cut off from the subject they are going to teach. How then can they induce the spirit of inquiry in children? In this article, I give a few examples of how the teaching of science can be more joyful.

What are the goals of teaching science? To understand and interpret the environment, to develop a scientific attitude, to inculcate the scientific method, and to develop mathematical, observational, experimental skills. These are some of the major goals of teaching science. The mechanics of a pressure cooker, rain falling, food becoming stale, plants growing, are all examples of science in daily life. But does a child relate any of this to the science he learns in school? The objective of learning science and the method of teaching it have both lost their paths. Science has been reduced to a marks scoring subject. Very few teachers think of the purpose of teaching and learning science. It is a subject that we can actually see, feel, and experience around us. But when the teachers themselves are not curious, how can they help children build a connection with science? The spirit of wonder and inquiry has been severed from science teaching-learning. We may find high scorers but very few inquirers, thirsty for the why and how of concepts.

Making science teaching real
Teachers of science should realize that science can be taught to students by drawing examples from the students’ own lives. That way the teaching becomes more interactive and practical, the way it should be. Science teachers should keep the following points in mind:

The author is Associate Professor at GVM’s Dr. Dada Vaidya College of Education, Ponda, Goa. She can be reached at aneena2007@gmail.com.

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