Want To Improve Science Achievement? Take A Kid Fishing

This week’s TIME column is about science teaching.  If you’re not happy with our science achievement there is something we can all do – get kids outside more.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, so let’s start this column with a nod to my 9th-grade science teacher, Bruce Butler, who lit a spark in me by making geology and environmental science fun, interesting – and rigorous. I still think of him whenever I’m out hiking or fishing and come across some geological curiosity. He went on to a successful career as a principal and is retiring this summer, but would no doubt be happy to know that today’s science teachers seem to be having an impact on kids, too, according to science achievement-test data released yesterday

…Ideas such as using innovative technology to simulate environmental experiences were touted, but perhaps the most promising way to improve science teaching and environmental education is also the simplest: get kids outside more. Children will learn more about the natural world by spending a few hours in it than days in front of a computer – and it’s healthier for them too…

…science can be a hat trick: It’s a great way to get kids outside and moving, teach them about the natural world, and make science come alive for them. The benefits of that extend far beyond better test scores. So rather than bemoan our performance on the NAEP, do something about it – even if it’s just taking your child fishing for a day.
Something you sometimes see outside is a mouse.  Click yours to read the entire column right here.

One Reply to “Want To Improve Science Achievement? Take A Kid Fishing”

  1. It’s about time, thanks Andrew! With all the attention paid to going tech in science, the outdoors have been left behind. No Child Left Inside! is my motto as well. I take my earth and AP environmental science students on field trips to a canyon nearby. We go on weekends when possible as there are no district funds for such field trips. I highly recommend, http://www.childrenandnature.org/ and the book, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. http://www.amazon.com/Last-Child-Woods-Children-Nature-Deficit/dp/156512605X/

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