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Blogging On History, Science, and Education

Partners in Learning: Teachers, Students, and an Author

An email this morning asks for scope and sequence materials for "Einstein Adds A New Dimension." Umm, there aren't any. There is a fantastic coordinated teacher guide and activity book written by NSTA President-elect Juliana Texley and available as an ebook on the NSTA website. It's free to members, $9.95 to others. Here's the link if you need it: (I think it is great.)

I see teachers as active partners in the learning process, rather than the robots that many standard programs expect. These books, like all of mine, are intended to engage both teachers and their students. The old image of teacher as purveyor all knowledge doesn't fit the information age.

Much of "Einstein Adds A New Dimension" is new material in classrooms; the ideas are those that underlie this century. So I see the books as an opportunity for teachers and students to learn and create together. It's also an opportunity for a the kind of teaching most of us would like to see in our schools. One school I visited was devising a new curriculum around the three science books, four teachers were involved: language arts, math, science, and social studies.

Standard commercial textbooks have tons of supplementary material, but they can lead to mindless teaching. Dull texts turn students off; my books attempt to provoke inquiry while teaching nonfiction reading and critical thinking, as well as science. No question, they take more effort than the formulaic standard textbooks--even those in ebook formats.

Today's classrooms need to be places where everyone is engaged together in the learning adventure.
So combine, create, take charge of the curriculum--or go with the standard textbook approach. Your choice.
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