Mary and I are two teachers, who have been teaching science in some form or another since dinosaurs roamed the earth (at least that is what we tell our students). Personal communications changed dramatically with the advent of an affordable personal computer. Social media, such as Myspace, appeared facilitating communication across long distances, classrooms, age and gender gaps. At the same time, cell phones became cheap and available. Now there is opportunity for constant communication from a variety of platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Snapchat. During this time period, we have observed that social communication has become a premier driver of the adolescent brain at the same time that the focus and effort required for academic success has been diminishing.
Now retired, Cheryl Wendling was an award-winning high school science teacher, with a career spanning more than a quarter of a century. Her students ranged from those with Special Needs, to Advanced Placement students, and everything in between. During that time, she also wrote curricular materials for NASA and presented science workshops at local, state, national, and international levels. Upon leaving public education, she was a high school science editor for a major textbook publisher and currently works as a freelance science illustrator
Dr. Carol Tang is the Executive Director of the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. She is on the Board of Directors for the National Afterschool Association, the How Kids Learn Foundation, and Artists United as well as a reviewer for the academic journal, Afterschool Matters. She previously was employed as the team lead for out-of-school time grant making portfolio at the S.D. Becthel, Jr. Foundation, the director of the Coalition for Science After School, and head of exhibitions and public programs at the California Academy of Sciences. Carol has a Ph.D. in paleontology and is the author of the Jurassic articles in the Encylopaedia Britanica Online. You can reach her on Twitter at @CarolTang1.
Education methods have always aimed to ensure future generations are fully prepared to contribute to the working force as adults. But what about preparing children to also function as social members of society? More recent approaches to education are now focusing on developing wholesome, happy children with the ability to develop healthy relationships and persevere through the trails of life.
About Cait: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, MA/CAGS is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. You can also find her hanging out with Kara at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast, contributing to the Huffington Post, and chatting about gameschooling in the My Little Poppies Gameschool Community.
When I think back on my elementary school years, many of my memories are tied to the time I spent on the playground during recess. The playground is where I made my first friends in school while playing games together. As a kid, I spent much of my class time longing for recess and time to play. At my school, we had recess twice; once in the morning for 15 minutes and once in the afternoon for 30 minutes. If an ounce of that time was taken away from me, as a kid, I would’ve revolted.