News at Princeton

Monday, July 28, 2014
 

Featured Story

In QUEST, Questions Are the Answer to Better Teaching



Each summer, select K-12 science teachers from New Jersey become the students as part of the QUEST (Questioning Underlies Effective Science Teaching) program run by Princeton University's Program in Teacher Preparation. The teachers spend a week with university-level researchers in the lab experimenting, or in the field observing and collecting evidence for self-designed research projects. And the point is to always ask questions. This summer QUEST included a program based at the state-owned Lighthouse Center for Natural Resource Education in Waretown, N.J., where teachers carried out research related to diamondback-terrapin conservation with a particular focus on the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Read more.


Video Closed Captions


JULES WINTERS: The QUEST Program
sponsored by Drexel

University and Princeton is to
encourage New Jersey teachers

to start thinking a little bit
more out of the box within

their science classroom.

Specifically, they are looking
at the opportunity to answer

questions in a field
environment.

So they're learning hands-on
experiences regarding science.

We have teachers out
here for four days.

And from beginning to end they
will be developing their own

research projects,
understanding

the diamondback terrapin.

By doing so, they can come back
into their classroom and

use the scientific method in
teaching their students about

science, whether it's about a
diamondback terrapin or DNA

replication.

Dan Rubenstein of Princeton
University, he was already in

touch with the teacher prep
program within Princeton to

bring New Jersey teachers out
into the field to build an

inquiry-based professional
development program.

This year we're looking at the
impacts of the superstorm

Sandy, and seeing if the nesting
beaches changed in its

dynamics between this year and
last, and how that might be

affecting the terrapin.

PETE PASSE: I thought this would
be a great opportunity

for me to learn how scientists
really do research.

We are doing a unit
at [? Hillsboro ?]

Middle School in eighth grade on
environment, and I thought

this might be an opportunity
for me to put together some

kind of a research project
that we might do

with our own students.

MICHELLE HILL: This QUEST
Terrapin Research Program is

helping me immensely.

Because even I'm sitting here
struggling going, well, I

asked this question, but I have
no idea what I'm going to

use this data, or how I'm going
to take this data and

answer my question.

And it's amazing for me to be
able to sit here and do this

and then have my students try
and do this when I go back to

my classroom.

Just to have them visualize
and hands-on and thinking

about how to ask a good
question, or what is a good

question, or how can I answer
my question with my data.

And that's the basis
of science for the

rest of their lives.

PETE PASSE: I do with my
students much the same as they

did to us here.

When a student asks why is this
happening, I answer the

question with a question-- why
do you think it's happening?

And it's a great
way to learn--

hands-on.

You can read things in a book.

You probably will remember it
better if you've done it and

had the experience first-hand.


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