Why Jay Eitner Thinks Science Education Should Go Beyond Teaching Science
Normally, in secondary school, teachers are hired to teach one subject only, and they have little to no interaction with other teachers. This is why Jay Eitner believes that the education system as a whole is quite fragmented. He has taken a different approach himself, ensuring that children learn in an interdisciplinary manner and particularly when it comes to sciences.
Jay Eitner’s Frustration with Traditional Science Education
Eitner believes that New Jersey has set an example of best practice by breaking free from the traditional ways of teaching sciences. For instance, no longer are students not penalized for making grammatical or spelling errors in science papers. After all, it is understood that it is difficult to present scientific findings if a report is written full of errors. That is the same as making correct mathematical calculations, but then extrapolating them erroneously onto a graph.
In New Jersey, therefore, interdisciplinary teaching is now far more common. It is an opportunity for teachers to work together, and for their subjects to become more blended as well. If students are to become true scientists, they must learn how to write research papers, which is part of English. They must also be able to create graphs and pie charts, which is part of math and computer literacy. All these disciplines are interconnected in some way or another, and that needs to be reflected in the education system as a whole.
Jay Eitner’s Integrated Teaching Recommendations
By studying the way the New Jersey education system works, and particularly in relation to science education, Eitner has been able to develop a number of key tips through which all educators, be they school teachers or homeschooling parents, can ensure children learn not just fragmented subjects, but rather the link between each of those subjects. His tips include:
- To make sure students present every piece of written information in full sentences and to make sure correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation is used.
- To correct spelling mistakes that pupils make on non-English writing papers, regardless of the subject.
- To teach children to answer not just one question at a time, but rather to write a few paragraphs in which multiple questions are answered at the same time.
- To encourage children to write a synopsis about the subject they are learning about in each class, be that history or math, which reinforces what they have learned so far.
- To complete all reports in the proper format, which includes an abstract, a summary, a table of content, and more.
- To ensure that any math work and scientific evidence is accurate, even in English lessons, while also checking it has been extrapolated properly to a graph.
- To always challenge anyone who does not believe there should be an overlap between the disciplines. A student who asks why English is being correct in a math class, for instance, should be told the importance of integrated learning.