Instructional Strategies

This section is designed to familiarize you with instructional strategies recommended for use with A Living Laboratory: Volcanoes.

Click on the any of the following to proceed:

In recent years there has been an explosion of brain/mind research, with important new implications for teaching and learning processes. In addition, certain techniques that successful teachers have used throughout history are now being validated by scientific studies of how people best learn

Learning-styles research has shown us that students learn in different ways, and that all styles of thinking and learning need to be nurtured. We have begun to understand how anxiety inhibits effective cognitive activity, and how reducing stress and increasing active engagement allow for more cross-talk between brain hemispheres, better reception, and greater retention of new information. Imagery, a very powerful teaching tool, brings into play one of our highest intellectual processes, and one thought to be unique to humans: the prefrontal lobe and integrative use of the entire mind/brain system.

We are recognizing the need to empower students to be responsible in the learning process, encouraging in them the internal locus of control that is essential to motivation. We are seeing a shift from emphasis on content to greater attention to process. With information in many fields becoming obsolete almost as quickly as it finds its way into textbooks, we must give our attention to teaching in ways that prepare students for self-directed, lifelong learning.

Teachers attuned to these needs are encouraging students to view facts and information in new ways, to raise new questions, to explore unresolved issues. Such processes require higher cortical functions, the use of advanced investigative techniques, and metacognitive awareness.

The "thinking-skills movement" offers promise of moving learners beyond rote acquisition to the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of new information. It requires learners who are active participants, rather than passive recipients, in the learning process.

Teaching and learning can and should be fun. Activities designed to expand the thinking potential of our students also challenge and enliven teachers. Such activities are central in A Living Laboratory: Volcanoes. We hope you will find this Instructional Strategies section valuable, not only in the classroom and field-trip implementation of this curriculum, but as a tool for use with other materials as well. Sharon Bancroft, Managing Editor, A Living Laboratory: Volcanoes Educational Service District 112

Return To:

Education Main

Back To VolcanoWorld Home