Mark Jensen’s 8th grade Honors Science students at West Fresno Middle School are gearing up to put their studies into practice. Through an innovative new program, Jensen’s students will be tasked with teaching the scientific principles that they are learning about to neighboring 4th-6th graders at West Fresno Elementary.
“Teaching someone else” has long been recognized as one of the most effective ways for people to learn academic concepts. Instead of simply knowing about facts related to a subject, the skill of teaching another person requires the teacher to both understand a concept and be able to apply it and answer questions about it. Jensen hopes that his students will learn and be able to apply the scientific concepts in his class through this method.
Students will first be exposed to a scientific concept in their own classroom. They will study, participate in activities, and complete a lab in order to further their knowledge. Then, students will be tasked with developing a lesson and lab activity for a small group of 4th-6th grade elementary students. His students will be responsible for every aspect of the lesson from the presentation materials to creation of work booklets for the elementary aged students. It is hoped that both groups will better their understanding through this unique approach.