Future teachers learn by doing

Future teachers are assembling a small bicycle using a direction manual. More than learning how to assemble a bicycle, the students are learning how to create excitement for learning.
Future teachers are assembling a small bicycle using a direction manual. More than learning how to assemble a bicycle, the students are learning how to create excitement for learning.
The future teachers in Ginger Becker’s Science Methods Class at Tabor College are learning how to create excitement for learning in future students by experiencing it themselves.

And they are finding a way to meet community needs as well.

Becker and Joanne Loe­wen, both assistant professors of education, and Lynette Cross, director of the education department, led an excursion with their students to Wichita in Septem­ber so the students could observe ways of engaging anticipation for learning in the science field.

The group first went to Exploration Place to see and learn from its “Design, Build and Fly” exhibit.

After that, they went to Wichita Technical College, hosted by Jim Cross of Hills­boro, who is an instructor there.

“This was an anticipatory set to model how to get students excited about a new unit or inquiry,” Becker said. “We got to spend the afternoon over there, which was awesome.”

Becker said the trip taught her future teachers from Tabor that students need to develop a hunger for learning in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

“As a teacher, I believe in modeling to any age of student how to give back to others,” Becker said.

Back in the classroom, Becker led a “closure project” that emphasizes anticipatory excitement for learning while supporting families with children in the Hills­boro community.

With the help of a grant, Becker acquired STEM kits to assemble two small bicycles and a scooter, then challenged her students to work in groups to put the projects together using the directions manual and suggestions from members of their team.

“We’ve been working on engineering and simple machines,” Becker said. “We want to surprise Main Street Ministries with the two bicycles and the scooter.

“We were modeling that we want everybody busy, so once a group is working on a bicycle, we have them doing something that also is purposeful.”

The finished products were delivered to Main Street Ministries for the children to enjoy.