Bridging Cultures Institute 2002

Aspirations and First Day's Conversation

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Subject:  Welcome
Date:  2002-07-20 20:02:13
Message Id:  2271
Glad you're here. Think of this as a place for more conversation, not a place for "formal" writing. The idea is to "think out loud" so others can learn from your
thoughts in progress, and you from theirs. This is also a place where our conversations can be useful to people beyond the institute. I'm looking forward to hearing
what everyone has to say, and learning from all of it. Hope you are too.
Name:  Carolyn Fitchett
Subject:  Bridging the Cultures
Date:  2002-07-22 11:39:00
Message Id:  2272
I expect to share, refine and receive innovative,"tried and true"( research based) ideas of bridging the subject matter in our curriculum to provide students with a more indepth six grade education.
Name:  shirley daly
Date:  2002-07-22 11:43:32
Message Id:  2274
I hope to get some information about how to frame students thinking about
how they can begin to learn scientific ways of thinking.

My expectation is that I will be better equipped to lead students in the
inquiry method of science.

Name:  Dr. Gerald Wasserman
Subject:  Bridging Cultures
Date:  2002-07-22 11:45:35
Message Id:  2276
I expect to receive ideas and materials that can be brought back to BFHS (Benjamin Franklin High School) and will be shared with the different dept. in our school.
Name:  Charles Foster
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  expectations
Date:  2002-07-22 11:45:47
Message Id:  2278
My expectations for the next two weeks is to gain knowledge or strategies that I can possibly incorporate into the current curiculum. As a Science Prep teacher I try to present a hands-on approach and encourage critical thinking by my students. There are other educators here from very diverse backrounds and years of experience. I think it will be interesting to hear other perspectives.
Name:  Tola Oronti
Subject:  Welcome again.
Date:  2002-07-22 11:46:52
Message Id:  2279
It is such a blessing to be back here after a 2-year break. I am excited about this institute because of the way the whole thing started this morning. I believe I am more confident because of various experiences that I have had over the past 2 years.
Starting off this morning with the appeals and challenges of various disciplines is an eye opener. The fact that we were able to go through all our findings and still discover some areas of similarities is exciting. It has always been an issue to try and bridge any gap between disciplines but now I am hoping that at the end of this institute I will have the skills or the know-how to bridge the gap between diffent disciplines in my class. It should be a rewarding time.
Name:  RaMona Adams
Subject:  First Day
Date:  2002-07-22 11:47:04
Message Id:  2280
This morning we had a very good session. It was helpful to collaborate with other teachers on the likes and dislikes of the students we teach. There was a general agreement that most students like working with hands-on material. I expect to learn in the next two weeks some new techniques that will help me to integrate science with other subject areas. I also expect to become more familiar with MAC. I'm very interested in learning about the gender differences in cognitive abilities. Are girls smarter than boys in cetain content areas?
Name:  Tom Witkowski
Subject:  Exectations
Date:  2002-07-22 11:47:13
Message Id:  2281
I've enrolled for this course so I could better adapt my teaching to the increasingly broad range of backgrounds I've been finding among my students, particularly ninth grade students who come from a variety of "feeder" schools. I also hope to better relate the physical sciences to other disciplines, and to real life experience.
Name:  Sylvia Cooper
Username:  Anonymous
Subject:  Expextations form Bridging Cultures 2002
Date:  2002-07-22 11:48:05
Message Id:  2282
While teaching solely the discipline of Science to 7th graders is still
quite new, I am looking for ideas,methods, etc. of making that task
easier for me and at the same time meaningful for the students that I am to teach. The conversation this morning also emphasized the need for viewing
my teaching assignment from a more holistic approach.
Name:  Tunde Oronti
Subject:  Students' interests/dislikes.
Date:  2002-07-22 11:50:59
Message Id:  2283
It's really impressive the way we started off this morning looking into what makes students feel comfortable and vice versa in our classroom. The discussion opened my eyes to the need for me to focus more on what students like the most and at the same try to encourage them to have interest in what they don't like but I know is good for their education. Actually this is very important because kids don't really know what's good for them. All they know or want to know is what they "think" is good for them. We as adults and trained professionals have to put our feet down (not all the time) and do what we have to do i the interest of the kids.

From the name of the institute i.e "Bridging cultures" there's a need to be aware that our kids are from various backgrounds which also dictates what they'll probably be interested in and what they'll not. Even within the same culture, kids are different intellectually based on so many factors one of them being socio-economic.

Name:  Randal Holly
Subject:  Institute Expectations
Date:  2002-07-22 11:51:17
Message Id:  2284
I am not entirely clear on what we will be attempting to "bridge" at least in the cultural arena. However, I am sure it will become clear to me very shortly. As it pertains to expectations, I am always eager to increase my repetoire of science activities.
Name:  Lois Mackey
Subject:  My Expectations
Date:  2002-07-22 11:51:37
Message Id:  2285
My expectations for the duration of these sessions,are to gleam information from the various facilitators on the Topic of " Bridging Culture" in the various aspects of curriculum.
Name:  sharon lee
Date:  2002-07-22 12:17:41
Message Id:  2286
During these two weeks I expect to learn more about how actually we can bridge cultures, implement new ideas, share what works, what doesn't. Implement group dynamics, as well as, different methods of challenging our children to get it " less wrong".sh
Name:  donna r. peterson
Subject:  Science/biology
Date:  2002-07-22 12:23:41
Message Id:  2287
My true interest for the next two weeks is to gather as much information regarding intergrating the subject of science with other areas of discipline such as math, social studies and english. I would like to learn more about the elementary & middle school teaching we can close the gap between the middle school and high school curricula instruction. look at what we can do as educators/administrators to make the change from elem /middle to high school a smooth transition.
Name:  Paul B.
Subject:  Issues in bridging disciplines
Date:  2002-07-22 18:07:03
Message Id:  2288
One of the issues we discussed this morning was the complaints from students when teachers try to "bridge" disciplines in the science classroom. I remember someone mentioning resistance to including writing and/or spelling grading in science assignments.

I was wondering what sorts of ideas teachers had for dealing with the students resistance to mixing the disciplines.


Name:  Paul B
Subject:  tradeoffs between process and content
Date:  2002-07-22 21:24:04
Message Id:  2289
Late in the day we got into a discussion about process and content in teaching. There were comments made that there need not be a tradeoff between a more student-oriented hand-ons learning experience and the amount of content the students are exposed to. In your experience, is this the case?
Name:  Paul Grobstein
Subject:  Good conversation
Date:  2002-07-23 08:44:59
Message Id:  2290
In answer to Paul B's implied question, it was Randal who raised the issue of student resistance to integrated teaching of disciplines. And I too think that's an important issue. At the same time, I think we need (for reasons Paul B mentioned, among others) to help students get over that resistance, and that it will become easier as students encounter integrated teaching more uniformly throughout their educational experiences.

Randal also said something about how science should be taught in a way that "confirms or challenges existing beliefs" rather than as just something that is. Maybe that's a general principle, applicable to all disciplines/kinds of teaching? Its another way of saying one needs to engage with students where they are, instead of trying to "teach" them something for no obvious reason to them.

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