In this Educational Leadership piece, authors Lee Shumow and Jennifer A. Schmidt write about the importance of making science relevant for students. They provide four strategies for helping students see the value of learning science.
A hush fell over the trigonometry class, heads swiveled around, and my classmates stared at me (Lee), dumbfounded. A few told me later they couldn’t believe I’d had the nerve to ask the teacher, with some exasperation, to explain the purpose of the function he was teaching. But I simply couldn’t imagine the purpose of the abstract and tedious work we were expected to do, and I wasn’t interested in doing a set of problems just for the sake of doing them. Luckily, I had an experienced teacher who provided several concrete examples that illustrated how very useful the function was in the real world. The reassurance that this was actually useful satisfied me, so I did the problems without complaint. All these years later, I still remember the respect I gained for both him and the value of trigonometry.” Read the entire piece here.