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Judith Lucas-Odom's picture

Day Dreaming and its impact on Science Learning 

After reading this article about allowing the brain to daydream I found that daydreaming is an important part of learning and which allows the creative juices inside to be activated.  My students enjoy the virtual world and most of the movies that are coming out deal with fantasies, "Last Air Bender", "Avatar", that someone spent a lot of time thinking about and enjoying.  I found that the students react better when you allow them to "daydream" about an idea and come back to it later.  Depending on the age of the student, you can allow them to experience this a lot.  Younger students will create very quickly.  Their creative and fantasy filled stories can incorporate basic educational information,  such as why objects fall.  Older students might will take a little longerbecause they are not quick to share their creative ideas with some they don't know.  This is were the teacher can build in team building strategies.  One thing that I learned from this article is that I will day dream when I am bored and I will imagine some place that I would rather be than were I am at.  Students will also do this.  I think, it is possible to use this creative down time to help my students to understand the big picture.  I would intentionally, give my students ideas and goals that they would need later on in their studies and allow them to just think about it.  Using their past experiences and their imagination come up with ways to solve problems or the situation.  For example, climate change/global warming is a big issue and the scientist take information from satelitte data and analyze it.  This is were the daydreaming comes in.  They look at, review, create, recreate in their minds what can they do to change the effect based on the known data.  Sometimes the technology is not there or not crearted yet so the creative juices need to kick in, "daydreaming" to create the answer.  Sometimes the answer they have created doesn't work out so they have to go back and think about it some more until the process is complete.   I think this is a good tool to use to get the students aware and start them to think!  As a science teacher, this can be introduced during the scientific method.  Let's get our creative juices thinking!