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kgould's picture

My name is Kathryn Gould and I am a rising senior majoring in English and minoring in Biology. While prepping for my upcoming thesis and doing work for the Summer Science Institute, I am also working on a few creative side projects, one of which includes writing, drawing, and designing a web comic with a friend. As someone who thoroughly enjoys both science and English, I am troubled to find evidence that there exists any kind of dichotomy between the two subjects. There is no "science mind" and "non-science mind," in my opinion. It's all just a matter of finding the best way to approach the information, to make it interesting, in order to find a comprehensive, unique understanding of the material.

My own experiences with education have been a mix of good and bad. While I feel like high school gave me the tools I needed to continue my education, only a few teachers--early on in my academic career--ever really inspired me or made me love a subject. More often than not, my teachers would just expect me to memorize facts and regurgitate them on tests and in essays, trying to give me the information I needed to pass the MCAS (a series of standardized tests in Massachusetts) without really providing any kind of deeper understanding.  And I can't say that they are to blame. I think it is often the case that trying to provide a deeper understanding of a subject (rather than trivia and facts used in multiple choice questions) takes more time and more patience than is available in a school year. I also think that it is often assumed that children, of or reaching high school age, are unable to grasp larger or broader concepts around the dates, vocabulary, and facts they're expected to remember.

But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try. By trying to find new ways to approach teaching, learning, and understanding in the classroom, I think more students can learn to embrace all facets of their minds: science, non-science, and more.

My goals for this summer are not only to provide more material for Serendip, but to also help reach my own understandings about the brain, learning, and comprehension-- specifically, how our own experiences of the world around us, our perceptions, and our intergration of that data can affect our education, and how that can help students of science and more.