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Lise Schickel Goddard '88 on Science Education

Posted by ksaltonstall on Nov 5, 2014 5:12:28 AM

Lise Schickel Goddard '88 Lise Schickel Goddard '88

"Our science curricula should not just aim to develop in students a strong knowledge base; it should aim to develop and train people who - through their knowledge base and life skills - see themselves as participants in their communities and the world, and act accordingly." Lise Schickel Goddard, Putting the “I” in Science, Independent School Magazine, Fall 2014.

Lise Schickel Goddard ’88 has been involved in independent education for the past twenty years and is currently in her twelfth year of teaching science at Midland School in California where she is the Associate Director of Studies and Director of Environmental Programs and Curriculum. She has recently published an article in Independent School Magazine with some leading edge thinking about how we teach science.

The article, Putting the “I” in Science, discusses how schools can promote citizenship through science education by making science education more personal, active, interdisciplinary, and relevant to students’ lives, allowing them to express their interests and community concerns in their research. Specifically, she argues that the passive voice in scientific writing has disconnected science from society. While, of course, objectivity is still vital, Goddard noticed in her work that when students are encouraged to use an active or narrative voice, “they not only produce more engaging writing, but they are more invested in the process. In order to tell a story, they must first convince themselves their work is relevant and then try to convince a reader. They tap deeper into their creative sides to elaborate on details. They own it. They're not writing for the teacher.”

Tabor values similar goals for active exploration through our science, nautical science and ocean ecology course work. We agree that “re-tooling student habits away from being spectators and toward being players” is critical to excellence in teaching science and to creating global citizens. Karl Kistler, Tabor’s Science Department Chair, commented, “Lise Schickel Goddard's call for experiential education and relevance is echoed here at Tabor. Our students take what they've learned in the classroom and apply it to the field, whether tending to the oyster farm in Sippican Harbor, cataloging the coral reefs of the Caribbean, staring at the stars in our observatory, or tinkering in the engineering lab. Though they may not all go on to become scientists or engineers, we hope to instill a life-long interest and understanding of the world around them.”

We are proud of Lise's accomplishment and hope you will read her engaging article in Independent School Magazine. (http://www.nais.org/Magazines-Newsletters/ISMagazine/Pages/Putting-the-I-in-Science.aspx) Lise will be presenting this work at the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Conference in February 2015 in Boston, MA.

Topics: Tabor Academy, Academics, Alumni