Science Studio Organises an Encounter for Teachers on the Topic of Electric Circuits
The Science Studio at the A.M. Qattan foundation organised a visit for science and technology teachers as part of the “Initiators” programme to implement various projects around the topic of electric circuits as an educational topic that extends across different levels of the science subject in the Palestinian curriculum. Twenty teachers from Salfit, Nablus, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem attended the two-day event, which was held on the 18th and 25th of January.
During their visit, the participants developed educational tools through tinkering strategies, and learning through construction. The tools deal with concepts related to electric circuits across multiple cognitive levels. The teachers also dismantled and analysed circuits from different electric toys, with the aim of exploring the process as one that promotes the use of imagination and knowledge together to reach hypothesis. and testing concepts related to electric circuits, their components and connections.
The participants tested the idea of imagining how the toy works; its engine, its lights and its relationship with the mechanical movement before dismantling it, to compare their hypotheses with the reality of the toy’s construction when dissecting it, and revealing its internal structure. They constructed and tested wooden units of various elements of the circuit and contemplated them as tools of playing and building knowledge. They also designed a set of innovative electric switches made from simple materials in an artistic way.
The participants discussed this type of learning and its potential within educational directions that enhance the centralisation of the learner in their learning process such as raising questions, peer learning, meditation as a learning practice, decision-making, problem-solving, etc. The teachers expressed the importance of this type of learning to link the subject of electricity to life experiences through which children find meaning to their learning. They noted that this type of learning gave them an opportunity to challenge their knowledge as teachers, as well as being a good exercise for practical experimentation with concepts of the role of the learner in building better learning opportunities.
Maysa Kmail, a participating teacher, said that this type of learning creates self-learning among students as it depends on the students’ expectations of how the phenomenon occurred. Another participating teacher, Jihan Thabet added: “This type of learning enriches knowledge for the learners, through it we can discover a great amount of ideas that might be hidden among the students.”
Samar Qirresh, a senior researcher at the Science Studio and the leader of this track with teachers, stated: “This encounter comes as part of a series of encounters that the studio’s general programme offers to its audience of teachers. It aims to create a workspace for them to create a link between the studio, its exhibitions, events, and capabilities, and teachers with their educational practices. In addition to forming groups to practice and share experiences, in which the groups address educational topics via tinkering, arts, building models, and building and experimenting with new educational tools that they take to their classes and experiment with them in their educational methods.”
She explained that this experience adds skills and knowledge to teachers, promotes networking among them, encourages engagement and contributes to building a path of their professional development.
The Science Studio is one of the projects under the Educational Research and Development Programme at the A. M. Qattan Foundation, and it was established in partnership with the Municipality of Ramallah.