Published on EdNC.org, August 8, 2018, by Blended-Learning Teacher Elizabeth Annette Bartlett
If, as a teacher who sees success with one class of students, I could reach twice as many students per class, why shouldn’t I try? That’s the question I asked myself in trying to solve a dilemma my middle school science students faced. In the end, it wasn’t quite that simple — but the lessons we learned will continue to benefit students.
In the 2015–16 school year, Cabarrus County Schools introduced earth and environmental science to advanced middle school students, bringing it down from ninth grade to eighth grade. As a teacher at Harris Road Middle School, I quickly saw that this meant students would have to learn two years of science in one year. Although the curricula were meant to overlap, in reality, they overlapped very little.
As the year progressed, I discovered that students simply did not have time to do hands-on labs while also incorporating the global problem-based learning that we are required to provide — something meant to increase students’ knowledge of the world. I found it unacceptable to teach science without hands-on labs.
Having seen a math teacher use blended learning to reach more students, I was intrigued by the prospect that this could solve the lab time shortage problem.
Read the full column here…