20 November 2011

Effects of RET

There are several points taking part in the experience of research.  Not only does it help increase the knowledge base of a community but it also offers insights into methodology and acts as an experience which can be woven into actions and choices for the future.  Having a research experience can also be beneficial in the teaching sphere.

When teaching science in high school, it is important not only to help students gain knowledge but also to gain experience, intuition, and a way of thinking that can only come form science, just as studies in different areas like languages and history also impart their own ways of looking at the world.  Therefore, sharing experience both in action and conversation are important.

For the classroom, the RET can manifest itself in more science activities, explorations, and labs for students to experience more hands on activities where they see the science and data first hand.  Not only do students then become exposed to the material that is being learned but they are now using their other senses to fully incorporate the material into their understanding.

The RET can also be used as an interesting experience to encourage students about modern day applications of science.  Unfortunately in the classroom, many students do not make the connection to the science they are learning and the world that they inhabit.  Students learn and solve problems about objects falling off bridges, being shot in the air and electrical circuits; however, students do not connect these scenarios to modern day science and what they see daily.  However, by sharing the RET students can then see some of those connections fall into place and begin to build up their connections.

Overall, the RET can be a way to view some of the ideas behind teaching by incorporating more activities and discussions in the classroom not only of the material that can be found in the science text books but with the science that is happening currently.  It is important to make sure that experiences such as the RET are not just left in the past but allowed to affect choices in the present and future.