The Science of Science is in Your Hands
This post is part of a series on teacher goals and expectations as part of the Teacher Compensation-Compensation-Incentive program. It was written by Samantha Haar, the Community Deans of Science Education, Michigan State University.
For children with disabilities, it can be more difficult for them to comprehend scientifically-based concepts and strategies. They are often unaware that they need to use these strategies and may have difficulty reading non-standard formats (books, web sites, online resources, etc.). When they become comfortable reading and using tools, they also will be able to retain the content better, making reading a more enjoyable and engaging experience for their teachers. By combining science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills with the curriculum, teachers will be able to contribute to the K-12 STEM education of their students.
The Early Literacy and Science Program uses frameworks and specific strategies with students with disabilities to help them master scientific concepts. These student support strategies can be used to aid new teachers with the transition process, as well as help teachers with further professional development.
The Early Literacy and Science Program’s focus is to eliminate science literacy obstacles for children with disabilities. This is especially important because these students are more likely to have a learning disability or sensory integration issues that result in low academic achievement. What makes the Early Literacy and Science Program unique is that it creates an environment for students with disabilities to be very comfortable with science information by utilizing descriptive, reliable content accessible through sound science literacy strategies.
We know how the process of a physician diagnosing and treating a disease works; how chemicals create reaction as the body tries to either heal or kill off disease organisms; how molecules interact with each other to make a cell; and the mathematical methods that show how a substance functions in the brain to control sight, hearing, learning, language, and other functions in our bodies.
The early literacy and science program is designed to reduce the chance of students having to remediate scientific concepts in the classroom. Once these concepts have been mastered, students can focus on schoolwork.