Effective Problem Solving in Character Development and the Science Curriculum
In our world, students need to learn to be effective problem solvers, both academically, and socially. Being an effective problem solver means that students are able to complete their work effectively with others, for others, and through others. It does not mean that students always get their work completed correctly, nor does it mean that they always know how to demonstrate good character, but effective problem solving does mean that students are more effective at recognizing what may have caused those errors and what they can do to make it better.
Every day, scientists are collaborating to develop new technologies, medicines and improving the ways we all live in society. Therefore, an effective Science education is necessary to prepare students not just for higher education and better jobs, but also to increase scientific literacy, and our ability to effectively relate to our world with others.
The Science Curriculum is an excellent place to teach effective problem solving skills and character development! The possibilities for integrating the Science curriculum with all other subjects and First Nations, Metis, & Inuit perspectives, are key to developing the ‘whole’ student. Also, Science education thrives in situations with Inquiry Based instructional techniques, which is an important skill when relating to others about the world around us. Further, the Explicit Instruction required in science, is also essential for building good character, and meeting special needs of students. Finally, an Effective Scientific education also teaches students to respect individual learning styles, and cooperative groupings of students.
Implementing the Science Curriculum truly has the ability to help students learn about the direct world around us. One day, all students will be leaving the school system, and entering a world where there will be many new jobs, products, and technologies that simply do not exist today. No other subject is better able to prepare students to ‘think’ scientifically, while also activating the inquiry and learning skills that will be used throughout a lifetime in many situations, with many different people. The possibilities for educators to help students relate scientific principles to what is already considered important to students can truly motivate the present and future learning processes.
It is essential for educators to get to know students and the learning community they are creating, because it is the very things that students are struggling with that enables us as educators to know how far to ‘push’ students in their learning. Continually asking questions and engaging in the Inquiry process not just in Science, but also in getting to know and understand the students. Therefore it is a valuable skill to be able to reflect upon the interests and strengths of the students and tailor curriculum to meet those needs.
Implementing the Science Curriculum in effective ways, truly does have the ability to infuse problem solving skills and Character Development in our students!