Reflection: Real World Applications Nuclear Forum - Section 1: Introduction

 

A key component of good teaching is relying on outside experts. Such people do a number of things. They come into the classroom with often times decades of experience to rely on. They have a thorough knowledge base to draw upon when answering questions. They model what it looks like to be an expert. They can make learning fun and interesting for the students—and the teacher! They put a face to a profession, which can be a good thing for high school students thinking about their futures. It was worth the planning time to see several students stick around after the forum to ask more questions and meet the experts. Most students still wanted to talk about the event a day later; it clearly captured their interest.

Obtaining outside experts can be challenging. It requires networking, searching on the internet, and perseverance. Sometimes parents can be a good source of expertise, or they may know someone who as the expertise you are looking for. Sometimes, outside experts are too far away to travel, but may be available for a video presentation using Skype or Google Hangouts. Having students write questions ahead of time is a good way to ensure that there is an interesting interplay between the expert and the students.

Before the discussion, I remind the experts that the students are just beginning to learn about nuclear power, and that they should try to remember that when giving explanations.

Our school relies on outside experts frequently. They bring a level of enrichment like no other resource.

he discussion about experts is great -- I agree with your sentiments about their value.  One thing I have found important is a discussion beforehand with the expert about the students’ level of understanding in order to help the expert calibrate their presentation to students’ level.  Also I often offer to review any materials the expert is going to use with the students (handouts or Powerpoint).  Do you do this?  If so I would add this to your reflection.

  Outside Experts
  Real World Applications: Outside Experts
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Nuclear Forum

Unit 9: Nuclear Chemistry
Lesson 5 of 13

Objective: In this lesson students will be able to take notes at a forum about nuclear power.

Big Idea: Nuclear power plants are a controversial topic. Outside experts are a great way to help students explore different opinions.

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