Paul Andersen visits the ECC
Last week, our second graders at the ECC welcomed YouTuber and educational consultant Paul Andersen, for a guest lesson in the launch of the Earth Changes science unit.
Paul’s teaching methods are inquiry-based; something since two years ago, the ECC is eager to implement more into the program. “We want to achieve rich questioning and rich conversations with students”, says Ms. Erin “Our aim as teachers is to not just provide information to kids, but act as guides as they construct conclusions and assimilations themselves’’.
In his methodology, Paul emphasizes the importance of asking questions for students, encourages coming up with their own explanations, looking for patterns, looking at cause and effect, and much more before making a claim. Instead of touching the surface of knowledge by teaching children content and identifying it, the focus is more about wondering, questioning, investigating, and looking for evidence that will support a statement.
“He talks a lot about ‘’phenomena’’ as a way to trigger curiosity and introduce learning. We got to see how he uses that, how he interacts with students and fabricates follow-up questions, which is a great example for teachers”, shares Ms. Erin.
During the class, the students looked at images of the result of earth events such as floods, earthquakes, rock formations and fires. Instead of jumping to conclusions about what the images represented, Paul encouraged the students to take a step back, and use their senses to get acquainted with the evidence that they could see, and only then, use it to develop their reasoning, claim and conclusion.
Ms. Ellen explained a little more about Paul’s lesson: “As an exercise, he had different 3D shapes and asked the students to notice the patterns, texture, and colors. He then hung them on a string, and then asked them to notice how they moved - in essence, they were looking for evidence.” In fact, this is what student Yara enjoyed the most out of the class “I liked that he showed us the shapes turning. We saw that the square turns into a circle, the circle stays the same, and the sphere turns into a square.”
We look forward to seeing Paul visit us again. There’s still a lot to learn! As Nicola put it: “I would love him to come again. Next time, I want to learn about nature”.