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Textbooks or Hands-On: Why Experiencing Science is Important or The Joy of Learning About Creation

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Photo by Ben McCloud

"There is only so much a student can learn by reading a book or attending a lecture. These types of passive learning techniques have been shown to be far less effective at promoting retention than active learning strategies, which embrace activities as a way to encourage classroom engagement".

from the National Inventors Hall of Fame website

"Experts believe that by involving students in a total learning experience (i.e. learning by doing), their ability to think critically is significantly enhanced. It teaches them to rely more on evidence (observed data), encourages them to think independently, and reduces their dependence on authority.

In addition, numerous studies indicate that it increases the students' motivation to learn and enhances their perception, creativity, and logic. As a result, they are not only able to apply what they have learned inside the classroom in their everyday lives – they can also apply the whole learning experience to various life situations".

from the Protein's Man Blog

Welcome to a different view of teaching about the world around us here at Maricopa Christian Academy.. It is based on a view, a truth, that we live in an amazing world created by an even more amazing creator. And in addition to what we are able to see, feel taste and hear about us, our creator has also revealed through scientific knowledge how this beautiful world works.

In the grades fourth through sixth, the elementary grades, our science in not organized around a textbook. Instead, there are themes that our students explore.

Students work in teams of 2-3 students. The students are responsible for being able to: 1) Explain to their teacher what the concepts to be learned, 2) What their team hopes to learn or observe in their experiment, 3) Conduct their experiment as a team, and 4) The team is responsible for coming to a conclusion together.

The teacher's role is one of making sure the students meet their four objectives while still expecting each team to move through the process as independent of the teacher as possible.

The themes investigated over the three years during the elementary grades are: Electrical Connections, Body Basics, Flight, Sound Vibrations, Vision and Hearing, Magnets, Planets and Stars, Water Physics, and Bubble Science.

As one of the quotes above said, there is only so much you can do with a passive education based on books. That is why Maricopa Christian Academy is so focused on using an active hands-on approach as often as it is appropriate in the education of our students.

And we think science is a natural opportunity to put an active education into practice.

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