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Science teachers and administrators from Woodstock, Vermont, braved the first Nor'easter of the season on December 9 to join Dartmouth faculty for a spirited discussion about teaching science. Dartmouth's Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) organized the Science Teaching Roundtable, which was hosted by Dartmouth's Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL).
The Roundtable focused on questions Woodstock teachers are asking as they begin a review of their high school science curriculum: how can we engage students in learning science and keep them engaged? What is rigor in a science curriculum, and how should we evaluate it? They also talked about how Dartmouth faculty might continue to be a resource to local science teachers.
"We learned our colleagues in higher education confront many of the same issues around providing a quality science education that we do," said Stephen Michlovitz, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Windsor Supervisory Union, which includes Woodstock Union High School. "It was validating, but it's also clear we have some challenges ahead."
Dartmouth faculty also enjoyed exploring common themes. "It was interesting and fun," said Jon Kull, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Dartmouth. "Both high school and college teachers put a lot of thought into engaging their students, so we had a good deal of common ground."
Nancy Serrell, Associate Director for Outreach at CEHS, commented, "We all hope this meeting will lead to more conversations. Science literacy is vitally important in our society, and I think that Dartmouth faculty are willing to help promote and support it."
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