Reflection: Adjustments to Practice A Bioethics Question: DNA Information and Society (Day 2 of 2) - Section 5: The Classroom Flow: Activity Debrief


What I am finding the more that I experiment with drama/action strategies in our science classroom is how much students like them both in terms of fun and learning and that we could spend the entire class period doing them without any lack of focus or off task behaviors.  However, as a teacher, I can also see the value in allotting sufficient time for a debrief at the end of class session that utilizes a drama/action strategy.  

Asking students to describe what it was like for them in each of their roles provides an opportunity for students to engage in a metacognitive analysis about how they learn, what they learned, and how each method we tried impacted them personally.  I believe this is valuable information for each student as they grow into mature, adult, independently driven learners, professionals, and citizens.  I feel like my students and I could have taken at least half of a class session to debrief on this activity and I am wondering how I can best do that in our next iteration; I don't want to keep the entire debrief until the next day because then I lose the momentum of the moment when students are really feeling happy about their learning experience and want to talk about it.  At the same time, the discussions we were getting into as the bell rang concerning equity, justice, and privacy were really important ones that came up organically through a conversation initiated by students.  In my mind, I am not quite clear how to reintroduce the topics again tomorrow without forcing it.  I'd love to hear your ideas about how to do this well!

Drama and action strategies can be really powerful tools for student learning.  I have been using J.D. Wilhelm's textbook entitled Action Strategies for Deepening Comprehension (2002) for ideas, so if you are interested in exploring this type of strategy more closely, check out his work!  The text also comes with a DVD showing the strategies in the classroom setting.

  The Activity is Not Enough: The Essential Nature of the Debrief
  Adjustments to Practice: The Activity is Not Enough: The Essential Nature of the Debrief
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A Bioethics Question: DNA Information and Society (Day 2 of 2)

Unit 7: Unit 7: DNA & Protein Synthesis
Lesson 16 of 22

Objective: SWBAT connect science technology to ethical and social concerns and defend their point of view using evidence and logic.

Big Idea: Help students connect science to our community with this engaging two day lesson series on the bioethics of DNA sample collection!

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