How to teach science at home and what to learn from it after the pandemic

Danièle Perruchon

Good morning to all,

In a previous video, we talked about science education at this time of confinement linked to Covid 19. This also leads us to think about how to teach science at home and what are the lessons to learn from it after the pandemic.

Since confinement, many education systems have implemented temporary distance learning methods to which teachers had to quickly adapt:

-because they were not sufficiently trained,

-and that very often they had to face a lack or a malfunction of the technical means.

For this, they developed a network work, very quickly:

-to share the most appropriate solutions for the different distance learning contexts

-and group and modify the form of existing resources so that they are easier to understand, both by parents and by children.

To involve parents in their children’s research, educators also had to adapt their practices.

-offer attractive activities, in the form of playful challenges, that can be achieved at home with little equipment, exploit situations of daily life or observe the environment near their houses.

For example, a particularly relevant and attractive challenge for young children is comparing Coronavirus with decorative glitter to explain the effects of soap on its removal. Thus, this activity allows modeling and experimentation, develops children’s curiosity, imagination and comparative abilities to imagine this microbe so small that it cannot be seen.

However, the parents also encountered difficulties:

-They had to readjust their parenting skills and the organization of family life to manage their telecommuting and school at the same time.

-They feel powerless before the ability to replace a pedagogue who has been trained in professional practices and, in principle, also in science.

-Not everyone has the same access to information or the same skills, especially for families from disadvantaged backgrounds, which reinforces socio-educational inequalities, leaving children alone before their learning.

As for the children,

– At first, they like to stay at home, as if they were on vacation, and to practice scientific activities, rather in the form of challenges.

This has the advantage of showing the accessibility of science, linked to concrete and fun activities, developing children’s creativity.

But working quickly at home posed several difficulties:

-organization and time management

– longer duration to carry out the requested activities

– less contact with colleagues

-and there is no possibility of immediate help despite regular remote contact with the teacher.

So what is the benefit of teaching science in the future?

At the end of the pandemic, we must strengthen OMEP’s defense with the governments and institutions of all countries, to promote, even more than before,

-education in science and critical thinking, solidarity and cooperation, respect for oneself and others, from an early age

-a fair and quality education for all girls and boys.

-quality teacher training, especially in science and distance education

Let’s stop thinking about education only from an economic point of view.

Let us think of it as the formation of a world citizen, united, respectful and collaborative.

to build a society where decisions will be made based on facts and not beliefs,

by future enlightened citizens, as OMEP defends.

Thank you.

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