It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Back to school time, that is. A time of new beginnings and a fresh opportunity to try something new, to revamp those science lessons that did not quite make the mark last year and to set up a new system to tackle that aspect of your work plan that seemed to sit always on the back burner.
All life science courses include a unit on cells. Why not try something different? Science is an area where innovation in teaching is always welcome by students. After the structure and function basics using a visually interesting activity such as http://www.eurostemcell.org/resource/stem-cell-research and building a 3D cell model, introduce the concept of cell differentiation by incorporating stem cells to focus the discussion. Here exists an opportunity to delve into deep dialogue, to push and challenge your students’ views. Introducing a simple module on ethics in science at the beginning of the year develops a broad platform to incorporate a conversational element to science lessons. In bioethical discussion no one is expected to have all of the answers. Setting the stage this way allows for broad scientific thought and the sharing of opinions in a respectful way. It can reinforce consideration in listening to the views of others and spark creative solutions to other areas of concern. Teachers are often amazed at the connections students make between various scientific concepts and disciplines in school as well as in current events.
Some tools and resources to try:
The Ready or Not role play: http://www.eurostemcell.org/toolkititem/ready-or-not-role-play-taking-st... ,
Conversations: ethics, science, stem cells film: http://www.eurostemcell.org/stem-cell-videos-and-films#conversations
Debating Science Issues: http://www.eurostemcell.org/toolkititem/debating-science-issues
Topic Guide for an in class debate, or use our Fact sheet: http://www.eurostemcell.org/factsheet/embryonic-stem-cell-research-ethic... to get informed.
Or simply look through the EuroStemCell resource directory for more exciting ideas!