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Facilitating Peer Teaching and Learning. How do we help our students teach other students? Case Study: Nuclear Technology Sarah Monaghan & Howard Shen, PS 05. Lesson Study Timeframe & Background: 06-07. We attempted to perform our lesson study on the whole nuclear chemistry unit.

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facilitating peer teaching and learning

Facilitating Peer Teaching and Learning

How do we help our students teach other students?

Case Study: Nuclear Technology

Sarah Monaghan & Howard Shen, PS 05

lesson study timeframe background 06 07
Lesson Study Timeframe & Background: 06-07
  • We attempted to perform our lesson study on the whole nuclear chemistry unit.
  • Gave students readings regarding nuclear technologies. (Dating, Weapons, Medicine & Tracers, Waste, Power)
  • Students gave group presentations in their technology area.
  • Students not held individually responsible.
video clip 06 07
Video Clip: 06-07
  • Summit High School, Regular Chemistry – 2007
    • 16:30
lesson study timeframe background 07 08
Lesson Study Timeframe & Background: 07-08
  • Simplified lesson study to just include nuclear technology.
  • Gave students internet research guidelines with very specific questions included.
  • Students gave group poster presentations in their technology area.
  • Students not held individually responsible.
finding 1 research needs to be structured and guided
Finding # 1: Research needs to be structured and guided.
  • Before students can teach a subject, they must first learn it.
  • Research is not a natural skill for students, especially scientific research.
  • To facilitate students learning about a new idea and practicing a new skill requires clear guided tasks.
  • Hand-picked printed material remains the best starting point for new topics rather than the internet.
finding 2 mechanism of knowledge dispensation must be student appropriate
Finding # 2: Mechanism of “knowledge dispensation” must be student appropriate.
  • Despite many years of experience as a student, students are not naturally thoughtful teachers.
  • It is critical that the way students present knowledge be clear, coherent, and referable.
  • Our final way of achieving this goal: Online videos which students could replay at their own leisure during analysis.
finding 3 students should integrate terms facts with synthesis of overarching ideas
Finding # 3: Students should integrate terms/facts with synthesis of overarching ideas.
  • With the pressure of standards and testing, the small things often become random facts to provide students.
  • Students form more coherent lessons to each other when the facts they have acquired are tied to a central theme that runs across all student groups.
  • Rather than giving each group a different technology to present on, we used the central idea of nuclear change and nuclear instability to tie each technology back to the central questions.
slide8

Lesson Study Timeframe & Background: 08-09

  • Student research was very guided with pre-prepared articles and intentional questions.
  • Students used a jigsaw method learn about all the identified areas of nuclear technology.
  • The jigsaw home groups made a video that was posted to a classroom blog, intended to answer the prompt, “Imagine a world without radioisotopes, would you want to live there?” The students were to answer from the standpoint of allstudied technologies.
  • Students were required to comment on blog posts.
  • Students wrote a summary article, addressing their individual opinion on whether they wanted to live in a world with/without radioisotopes.
finding 4 it is essential to specify how we know that group learning has become meaningful
Finding #4: It is essential to specify how we know that group learning has become meaningful.
  • In order to ensure group learning, the students who are the active teachers must demonstrate that new information has been internally processed to allow them to explain their opinion regarding a high-taxonomy question.
  • We determined that evidence of group learning could be demonstrated by student groups who fluently address both the pros and the cons regarding a specific area of nuclear technology.
finding 5 it is essential to specify how we know that class learning has become meaningful
Finding # 5: It is essential to specify how we know that class learning has become meaningful.
  • Students watching videos or listening to other students read text on a poster does not mean that a group presentation has resulted in class learning.
  • In order to ensure class learning, the students who are the active learners must use new information to answer (in their own words) a high-taxonomy question and an overarching key question.

In our case those questions were:

  • Year 4 - Would you want to live in a world without radioisotopes?
  • Year 5 – What are the benefits and drawbacks of each area of nuclear technology?
  • Year 5 – Does your answer demonstrate that you understand how a radioactive sample is different than other types of matter?
slide11

Lesson Study Timeframe & Background: 09-10

  • Research section remained unchanged.
  • Blog videos involved students teachingone nuclear technologytopic. 
  • Student videos argued the pros and cons of the technology. 
  • Students watched and commented on all 3 other topics, with very specific commenting guidelines.
  • Individual student research paper was eliminated.
video clip 09 10
Video Clip:09-10
  • Arlington High School, Honors Chemistry – 2009
  • http://arlingtonhonorschemistry.blogspot.com/

(2009 Nuclear Dating – Group 1)

sample response comment
Sample Response Comment
  • 156940 said...
  • This group does address the unique characteristics of nuclear isotopes that allow them to be used to date material radioactively. I found this video to be overall very informative and well done. I will have to side with the defense in this particular video however and here’s why:

The prosecution was based entirely on religion. Though religion may at times be a useful tool to compare other belief systems to, in science we have to draw distinctions based on what is backed by empirical evidence. Simply saying that nuclear dating conflicts with religion doesn’t really offer a solid argument against the process or its overall benefits. If it came down to proving one group right within a degree of reasonable doubt the defense would win simply because an argument based in religion is in fact an argument based in the theoretical and relies on faith and not verifiable material.

The defense, by presenting examples in which radioactive dating could be useful and providing practical applications for it not only provided the framework for a sustainable argument but delicately sidestepped the moral perplexity of contradicting religion.

Good job in addressing a controversial issue head on!(For the prosecution: your job was the hardest. Good job in making a theoretical argument and defending it without completely derailing from the assignment.)

slide14

This PowerPoint and other lesson study documents are available at 05lessonstudy.wikispaces.com

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