Saturday, December 1, 2007

Teaching: a comment I like to hear

My intro students turned in their papers for my new, kind-of-experimental, revised group project yesterday. One of the students, a senior who had been avoiding science classes for five years, talked to me about the project a number of times, trying to figure out what it all meant.

It was great brainstorming ideas with a motivated student - that's one of my favorite parts of teaching. But the best part of our conversations was one comment she made. She hadn't taken a science class since her junior year in high school, she said... and now she regretted it. Not because she suddenly wanted to be a scientist, but because she felt like she had missed out on something important.

"Why do we take just one science class to fulfill a requirement?"

I'm going to suggest that she take more, just for the fun of it, if she has time before graduating. And if not, there are books, and natural history museums, and public talks, and hikes with guidebooks, and...

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