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SCIENCE AND EDUCATION

LIFE IS AN EXPLORATION (AND FUN)

      SCIENCE IS AN EXPLORATION (AND FUN)

            EDUCATION SHOULD BE ...

                   AN EXPLORATION, AND FUN

Among the great ironies of our culture is that science, a fundamentally open-ended and exploratory activity, is frequently taught so much as a body of "facts" that many students become estranged from science, and most are deprived of an opportunity to have experiences which strengthen and reinforce their own inclination to experiment, question, and explore ... both the world outside and themselves. Materials presented here are aimed at finding ways to make science education, and education in general, more exploratory, and more fun.

For K-12 Teachers Pedagogical Discussions Brain and Education For College Faculty Course Websites Links


I believe that education must be conceived as a continuing reconstruction of experience, that the process and the goal of education are the same thing.

I believe that education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.

-- John Dewey, My Pedagogic Creed

The teacher is not only a communicator but a model. To communicate knowledge and to provide a model of competence, the teacher must be free to teach and learn

-- Jerome Bruner, The Process of Education


K-12 Resources and Discussions

  • Hands-on Activities for Teaching Biology to High School or Middle School Students - Ingrid Waldron, a member of the Biology Department at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with both colleagues at Penn and K-12 teachers, developed a set of hands-on biology activities which include topics such as "Studying Our Senses" with jelly beans, "Dragon Genetics," and "Moldy Jell-O."

  • Off the Shelf Chemistry - Bob Farber, a chemistry teacher at Central High School in Philadelphia, PA, developed a set of 18 chemistry activities for high school students, using consumer products for experiments and not requiring a lab and specialized equipment.

  • Serendip hosts Workshops for High School Teachers, ranging from one day to two week hands-on seminars on teaching with technology, teaching science across the curriculum, and bridging the two culture gap.

  • Serendip's Togo Connection - Susan White, Associate Professor and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Bryn Mawr College, worked with the Peace Corps in the West African nation of Togo from 1978 to 1981, teaching physical sciences in public high schools. During subsequent visits, she has talked with teachers, school administrators, and government officials about how Americans and Togolese might work together to enhance educational opportunities internationally. Materials presented here (see directory) are aimed at developing ways to bring American and Togolese educators and students closer together.

  • Mind and Body: René Descartes to William James - Robert H. Wozniak, Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College, developed this web exhibit, modified from the Catalogue Accompanying an Exhibition of Books from the Collections of the National Library of Medicine, 1992. Also available in Spanish.

  • A Hands-On Interactive Approach to HTML - Creating web pages is easy to begin learning, and to go on learning, in a hands-on, exploratory, interactive way, emblematic of the web itself and the kinds of new directions it makes available for education.

  • Many interactive exhibits on Serendip are in the Playground section, including Prisoners' Dilemma, Sierpinski's Triangle, and Simple Networks, Simple Rules. Time to Think is a research lab experiment which uses Serendip to measure simple reaction times, as well as reaction times in a number of increasingly complex "thinking" tasks. Explore, learn and enjoy.

  • Brain Matters, A question and answer forum for K-12 students

Pedagogical Discussions

We think we learn from teachers, and we sometimes do. But the teachers are not always to be found in school, or in great laboratories. Sometimes what we learn depends on our own powers of insight. Moreover, our teachers may be hidden, even the greatest teacher.

-- Loren Eiseley, "The Hidden Teacher" in The Star Thrower

A manual? Give me a break! Let me get in there and muck around and try various things and see what happens.

-- John Seely Brown, "Learning, Working, and Playing in the Digital Age"

Brain and Education

College Faculty Resources and Discussions

  • Serendip is the web host for the Center for Science in Society at Bryn Mawr College, which sponsors programs and discussions involving scientists and non-scientists as well as academics and non-academics, which are essential to continuing explorations of

    the natural world and humanity's place in it,
    the nature of education,
    the generation, synthesis, and evaluation of information,
    technology and its potentials,
    the relationships among forms of creativity and understanding.

  • Faculty art exhibits are on permanent display on Serendip.

  • Structures of Support: Women Negotiating the Corporate Academy, a faculty workshop - 2004

  • Mind and Body: René Descartes to William James - Robert H. Wozniak, Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College, developed this web exhibit, modified from the Catalogue Accompanying an Exhibition of Books from the Collections of the National Library of Medicine, 1992. Also available in Spanish.

  • Exploring All Paths: Collaborative Products and Process, 2000 - notes for a talk by Liz McCormack (Physics), Paul Grobstein (Biology) and Sasha Schwartz (student of Physics) on quantum mechanics, web-based learning, and collaboration, with an interactive exhibit in Richard Feynman's world.

  • Many interactive exhibits on Serendip are in the Playground section, including Prisoners' Dilemma, Time to Think, and the Game of Life. Explore, learn and enjoy.

Undergraduate Course Web Sites

  • Serendip hosts Bryn Mawr College undergraduate courses which experiment with pedagogy, are primarily discussion-oriented, have strong, interdisciplinary focus, and utilize web resources. Many include "web papers" that students research and submit for discussion and evaluation, as well as resource links and materials selected by professors. Some examples of courses are Introductory Biology, Neurobiology and Behavior and The Nature of Inquiry: Story Telling and Retelling in the Sciences and Humanities.

  • Materials and resources from short seminars at Bryn Mawr College include topics of wellness and of women's health.
Links to Web Resources by Topic






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