How to teach elementary science – chicken feet first

By Grant Jacobs 19/09/2010

This video explains the approach the van Damme science classes takes to introduce youngsters to science. It has a long introduction, but it’s worth getting through to see the example they use. Chicken feet.

(If you really are in a hurry, start three and a half minutes in the video.)

Could also think about what they discuss here from the perspective of of how you might present something new to an adult, say in science communication.

The issues aren’t that different. It’s often easier to start with something that people are familiar with, and work from that, rather than ’jump’ to what might otherwise be the most logical starting point in terms of presenting the material once you understood it. (Note the past tense.) Textbooks often take the latter approach, asking that the student ’hold on’ to something until later material connects it with a wider range of things, which then make it useful.

Thinking back to things I’ve written, I’ve been guilty of this. It is tempting (even logical!) when you already know the subject, because that’s how you see it, but it may not be the best way of bringing someone new to it.

Other videos on Code for life:

The iPad: a cat toy?

A booster falls

Basic fluid science on the space station

When Galaxies Collide… and directors quote-mine

A plastic ocean

The Anachronism (full-length short film)

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