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Education, Life, and Me 2008 Reflection

LuisanaT's picture

First off, I want to personally thank and commend Grobstein for taking a young college student (rising sophomore) as an intern/student/teacher for this years Summer Institute for K-12 Teachers as oppose to the typical upperclassmen. I feel as though my participation and involvement here has helped provide more diversity to the summer experience. From this internship, I have gained a lot and learned much about myself and what I want for my future. This summer has assured me that my desire to dedicate my self to education well through the rest of my time in college and after as being a real one. I have come to realize my passion for education, both in expanding my own and getting more involved in concerns surrounding education.

Given this summer internship, I now understand another level of significance to reading and writing. For, similar to Grobstein’s response to a NYT article on the internets affect on people’s literacy, I see the significance of both reading and writing that lies outside out the professional (i.e. a report) or the personal (i.e. .a diary). This particular area is the social and it renders an interactive quality in people that is never explicitly established in the classroom and can easily be satisfied through the web. Reading and writing, especially via a computer, is a good vehicle for the enhancement of people’s communication skills and sophistication and therefore should not be completely undermineded.

With an entire summer to become very intimate with the ways of Serendip, I’ve seen the true value of reading and writing that I was never really conscious of and, I am tempted to say, that most people are not aware of when they first read and write and therefore lose interest in it entirely. The posts one can make on Serendip, especially those an intern creates throughout the summer institute can be analogous to research papers; the more links to findings (stories) previously established in pre-institute forums and elsewhere there are in the post, the stronger and more convincing the argument of the post. For I have literally found myself gaining satisfaction from linking more and more of my previous work together into new understandings I have made and I am compelled to say that it is because I can see my thoughts evolving and feel productive, compelling because of it.

The increase power the piece possesses with each successive link expressing its point is the key ingredient for effective communication. This method of writing can be particularly valuable during the actual institutes themselves because of the ability to link to other relevant websites, other forums, and other posts available on the internet. For this reason I feel it is important for future interns to place more attention to the importance of the Science Education forums prior to the three institutes. Although it is obvious that a lot of the concerns, issues, etc. that arise in these discussions are likely to arise in the institutes, it would be helpful to make that more explicit. In this way, the interns can be more attentive during the institutes because they can look for opportune moments to reinforce certain concepts by unearthing past usefully different ideas and insert it into the current session.

Not only does this idea greatly benefit the effectiveness of the institute, it will also be appreciating the efforts the workers of the institutes past contributions and thoughts about science, education, and science education. This additional interaction between the institutes participants and workers helps the participating teachers get a better understanding of what the institutes are concerned with sooner rather than later. This recall of information allows these people get to know the members working in the institute even more which can hold to be very valuable in allowing the class discussions flourish and maximizing the participation from them.

And it is this closeness that develops between the participants and the workers of the institute that is the social aspect I have discovered for myself to be contingent very much so on the reading and writing involved. It is the same reason both Paul and Wil start off the majority of their courses/workshops by requiring the participants to create an introduction to themselves; it is in the hope of encouraging them to vocalize and organize their current and developing understandings to one another for one another. Reading more to write more expands the extent to which a piece of work crosses over into other fields of study, theories, stories, etc., simultaneously extending ones repertoire of knowledge.