March 2011

Energy Theatre by the Seattle Pacific University PER Group

Energy Project at Seattle Pacific University

I wanted to put a short comment on the presentation by Dr. Hunter Close from the Seattle Pacific University that I just listened to. Hunter spoke on how they use the idea of kinestetic representation to help middle school teachers to understand the concept of energy. It is part of the Seattle Pacific University Energy Project. It is a very exciting project. I was just thinking that the concept of energy is not a central concept in BC K-7 curriculum… My middle school pre-service teachers didn’t have a chance to discuss this important science concept to the extent we should have and Hunter’s presentation made me think how I will do it next year and how interesting and rich the research can be if we take a closer look at how our future teachers learn science concepts and learn how to teach science.

Another interesting ideas: the use of white board, the “power of a pen” (who writes), the power of student dissatisfaction with different ideas, various sources of data helping researchers observe how students discuss ideas.

Hunter spoke about the lesson where elementary teachers were asked to create a theatrical representation of how a fridge work – all the energy transformations, etc. It is a very sophisticated task and it was interesting to see the videos showing how the teachers discussed it and how sophisticated their ideas were.

For the link to their paper: click here.

Energy Project SPU link: click here.

I took a number of photos during Hunter’s presentation for the photos from the talk: click here.

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