Teaching Elementary Science Using History as a Guide


A Presentation by Dr. Jay Wile 

Dr Wile Says:  There are two main ways that science is taught today.  The first method, called the spiral approach, teaches a wide range of topics every year, and students spend a little time on each topic.  However, every few few years, the topics are revisited, and students learn them in more depth.  This method produces a high level of recall but is generally boring for students, as they feel that they are repeating a bunch of material unnecessarily.  The second method, called the immersion approach, has students spend all semester (or even all year) on a single topic.  Students learn that topic in depth and then move on, never revisiting the topic again.  This is less repetitive, but it produces lower recall, and students tend to learn the later topics better than the earlier topics, because they mature as time goes on.

In this seminar, Dr. Jay L. Wile discusses a different method for teaching science in the elementary years: covering science topics chronologically.  Science was learned in a definite, chronological sequence as early scientists developed ideas that were tested and improved by later scientists.  If science is taught this way, students cover a wide range of topics each year and then revisit many of them as they were improved by later scientists.  This has a lot of similarities to the spiral approach, but when students revisit a topic, it is not just repetition with a little more depth thrown in.  The student learns the topic in the context of a new scientist and his improvements on the idea.  This produces the high levels of recall that the spiral approach produces, but it is more interesting to the students.  It also gives students a more realistic view of how science is done in the real world.

Jay Wile

Dr. Jay L. Wile

Jay Wile learned about his love for chemistry when his dedicated parents bought him his first chemistry set. Many stink bombs and a few explosions later, he was hooked! Although he loved chemistry, he also had many other interests. For a while, he thought about becoming a concert pianist, but unfortunately, his fingers were not long enough (no kidding!). As he was finishing up his high school years, he became extremely interested in the theater and began to pursue a career in acting. Partly because he learned the science behind some of the special effects of the plays in which he performed, he eventually went back to his first love: chemistry. He went to the University of Rochester in upstate New York to study chemistry, and his fascination with nuclear chemistry earned him a Ph.D. in that field. For several years, he did research in the field under the auspices of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. This research led to several grants and many publications. Dr. Wile's love of science is demonstrated by the many awards he has won for excellence in teaching and research. He has also presented numerous lectures on the topics of Nuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution. He has published more than 30 articles on these subjects in nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed journals, and has 9 books to his credit, most of which belong to the award-winning “Exploring Creation with” series of junior-high and high-school science courses. You can visit Dr. Wile on the web at http://www.drwile.com
To learn more about his books:  www.bereanbuilders.com

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Caroline Benedum says


The presentations are wonderful! Is there any way you can leave the presentations up for replay for longer than 24 hours?  I don't want to miss parts of the conference because of life schedules.  I hope you will take this into consideration.

Thank you and I really appreciate your hard work!

Caroline Benedum

    Dianne says

    Hi Caroline!

    We did offer two very clear options at the time of registration.  The General Admission ticket offers a 24-hour complimentary replay (as opposed to a live convention, where you get no replay).  The Plus member ticket offers an unlimited replay.  When you log in, you can go to your account page and there is an offer there to upgrade before June 30th at a discount.  If you are already logged in, just go to the bottom of the home page and you will see the link to your account profile.  Hope that helps!

kainoa torau says

What an amazing presentation!! I'm definitely incorporating this curriculum into my homeschooling this coming year! Thank you so much!

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