Educate to Innovate; not to Obtain a Certificate

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The world is dynamic in nature. The younger generation should be ready for the new world. Science is a discipline of experimenting, rationale thinking   and   questioning. The   act of engaging in innovation, inquiry and creativity within the classroom (science) is vital for our students now and years to come.

When we educate students to innovate; we prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.   Issuing a certificate should not be the target. Our focus should be on what the student can offer.

Teaching science should focus on fostering innovation by putting the act of curiosity, deep understanding, inquiry , creative brainstorming and critical thinking at the heart of curriculum. Afterall, students learn best by doing.

science-innovation  creative-scienceImproving America’s STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education) education was one   of President Obama’s top priorities. The US President Obama speaking about innovation in education; called for investments in educational technology that will help create educational software educational software that is as compelling as the best video game.

When we educate students to innovate; we prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. This implies the need to get students acquainted with diverse skill sets. This   can be   done by investing in new learning technologies to prepare students for success in future careers of life. Issuing a certificate should not be the target. Our focus should be on what the student can offer.

Consider, teaching Biology by traveling inside human cells, Chemistry by carrying out experiments with any of the elements of the periodic table. Teach Computer Science by programming robots to search   other States/Countries.

  Briefly let’s look at some challenges faced by Science teachers in this context:

  • Series of strike actions affecting the time scheduled for adequate coverage of scheme of work.
  • Neglect given to Science educators eager to take of the mantle of teaching, teaching has become a thing of the “less privileged/ connected”. Most Science educators go for the “well-paid” and “well regarded” job opportunities.
  • Lack of practical experiences by the Science teacher. This could be attributed to lack of laboratory equipments, fear of damaging the equipments or insufficiency. These possible challenges are as a result of poor funding of Science teaching. This issue of poor funding/ financing of Science teaching will be discussed further in subsequent posts.

Educate to innovate! How can this be?….

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For me, teaching science is not easy, but, it can be made fun! Yes, nothing good comes easily. Lots of efforts in all ramifications will do the job. Teaching science with learner-centered method should be implied in our classrooms not just stating it in our research papers, journals, and lesson notes/plans. If every science student is opportune to be empowered with innovative pedagogy; fruitful   learning outcomes will be surely achieved. Appropriate plans should be made to moderate both teacher and student factors.

Technology also have a role to play. Science students sure love technology. Be sure   to incorporate it into your daily lesson.

Extra Curricular activities as follow-up will aid. Students tend to find any hands-on learning activity fun and   meaningful.

Experiments should be conducted by students. On a normal day, science experiments are hands-on, interesting and   engages the learner.   Field trips should not be left out.

Nurture creative thinking minds in the students. This aspect is vast, it will be discussed subsequently.

How do you make your students’ innovative? Please share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your ideas.

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 Onwukeme Ijeoma  is a passionate Science Educator, Researcher, Academic Counselor and Consultant.

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