Viewing guide for - The Private Universe Series

Overview

This page includes a content guide for each video to use as a guide for the content of each video and a starter for notes to record questions or ideas you want to share.

Suggestions to consider for reflection

  1. Write a teaching goal for each video you would consider to incorporate into your science instruction.
  2. Write at least one question for each video that can be explored after viewing the video.
  3. Write what you think is the biggest impact the video had on your thinking, which might impact your planning and instruction to facilitate students' learning of science.
  4. Identify what you saw that you believe would help students learn and explain why you believe it would be successful.

video image

Videos were created at Harvard as a Smithsonian series.

Available at Annenberg Learner.

The series includes:

Introduction - A Private Universe 20:14

Minds of Our Own trilogy
Video 1 - Can We Believe Our Eyes? 54:44
Video 2 - Lessons From Thin Air 56:24
Video 3 - Under Construction 56:56

Video viewing guides for: A Private Universe: 1987

Video - A Private Universe 20:14

Introduction to the series, Minds of Our Own

A starter list of the contents. Use it as you desire.

Consider reflecting on the reflection suggestions above.

Misconceptions block learning,

Education thwarts learning.

Seasons are caused by...

21 out of 23 faculty and students at a Harvard Commencement had misconceptions about ...

Marlene's Class At the High School Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School

Heather's explains the Earth's orbit related to seasons before instruction

Light bends, scatters, shadow...

Instruction in the classroom focused on

Heather, Two Weeks Later. Heather's Explanation of the Earth's orbit and seasons After instruction...

Personal Theory

Moon phases

Seasons

Direct rays and indirect rays

Won't let go ...

Direct and indirect light photo

Heather seems to cling to

 

Summary:

What are the implications of information in the video for facilitating science literacy?

 

What personal goals do you anticipate as most relevant to the content of the video?

 

 

Video - Can We Believe Our Eyes - 60 minutes

This is a partial list of the contents and some questions. Use it as you desire. Create your own list of comments or questions from your viewing to share with us.

Introduction: Harvard/MIT Graduation: Light a bulb with a batter and a wire?
The Teacher's Voice After failing. So what's the big deal about not knowing how to light the bulb with a wire and battery?

Jim Carter:

Trish Stoddart:

Maybe the Distance

Learn when talking with friends, hands on, motivation, interest level are important for students to learn.

Using a mirror every day. Face in small mirror, move closer or farther away to see whole body.

How did the experiment help us understand the mirror experience?How was it sequenced in the video? What came before it and after? How might that be important?

Rosalind Driver

It might take a couple of years to ...

The Three Stooges

Karen and Richard

Eyes can see in the Dark

Seeing is Believing

After six minutes... Karen still believes ...

What could be done to help Karen understand that human eyes will never adjust well enough to see in the dark?

It's obvious if you look at it.

When it is explained slowly and clearly the students will...

In the Classroom

Jim Carter: one month studying advanced topics on electricity.

Draw ...

Children attend to the ideas that fit with their thinking and not with others.

Children can listen and pay attention and ....

He asks so many questions

Abbott and Costello

Conor fifth grade student: eyes are like

Changing the way we think about something means ...

But that's just my opinion

James Minstrell Mercer Island High School

Predict what will light the bulb, write down every thing you do. Predict, experiment, talk, think, build the logic themselves,

What does the teacher do? Just let it flow. Goal oriented...

What specifically does this mean?

Jennifer Wright

Trish Stoddart

We figured it out. I am so excited. It has to be...

The responsibility and ownership has to be the students.

What is the affective results for students who experience outstanding science experiences?

Philip Sadler

Let kids test and see which is more powerful.

Dorothy Simpson

Teaching is a very complicated job...

Change is ...

End Credits

Summary:

What ideas does the video suggest for class activities, discussion during class, student empowerment, self-assessment, teaching and learning?

Might as well throw in anything else you have a mind to include. Seriously, pick ideas you think are successful or you want to know more about or have questions about.

 

Video - Lessons from Thin Air -- 60 minutes

The following is a Viewing Guide for Lessons from Thin Air, the second of three videos in the Minds of Our Own series.
The guide
is a partial list of the contents and some questions. Use it as you desire and create your own list of comments and questions from your viewing.

Starts with students from Harvard not providing accurate answers to science questions.

John

Seventh grade student who in a pretest insists that air doesn’t have weight.

Six days of intensive science classes with a science teacher that is very knowledgeable in science...

One of the best students in seventh grade has much difficulty understanding photosynthesis...

Second student

Asked what happens to water as a solid, liquid, and gas.

How does instruction in the early grades affect students’ understanding into junior and senior high?

It is important for students to begin early to ….

Chris

What happens when a syringe is pushed against your thumb?

There is a problem with what students think learning is if they think …..

Ten week unit on decomposition

How long does it take something to decompose after it dies?

Need to start with ….

“You’re going to find some idea in there that will help you later.”

What does that mean?

How are the students learning science processes?

What suggestion would you give to even help them learn science processes better?

“Statements about what we learned…”

Why did she want this?

End Credits

Summary:

What ideas does the video suggest for class activities, discussion during class, student empowerment, self-assessment, teaching and learning?

Might as well throw in anything else you have a mind to include. Seriously, pick ideas you think are successful or you want to know more about or have questions about.

 

 

Video - Under Construction - 60 minutes

The following guide is a partial list of the contents and some questions. Use it as you desire. Create your own list of comments or questions from your viewing to share with us.

Starts with

Doty Herd 23 year veteran Ten Mile Elementary School TN

Can it be done?

Water from 50 states?

Feared freedom brings chaos.

Presented PH, temperature, Oxygen rate, plant life, animal life.

Evaluation do something to show what they have learned

Peer review...

Feel good and believe in yourself, nothing...

Bilingual kindergarten because children learn their native language first and then they can learn a second.

Wanted her students to have more practice...

Science to give more experience...

Play with a purpose

Documentation

Open ended for expression

Audrey Sturgis eighth grade teacher

Black American inventors

They could do it, I can do it. See self as ...

Structures

Questioning cause and effect

Challenge straws and paper clips to

What learn?

Bridges .... What learn?

More work in groups and hands on will help kids to ...

Presentations

Navajo Sixth grade

Learn from all cultures

What did the people know of their whole environment?

Middens

Clan

How could I have ever thought that?

The pay off is ...

 

End Credits

Summary:

What ideas does the video suggest for class activities, discussion during class, student empowerment, self-assessment, teaching and learning?

Might as well throw in anything else you have a mind to include. Seriously, pick ideas you think are successful or you want to know more about or have questions about.

 

Note for implementation of ideas ...

The knowledge base a teacher has to facilitate student learning is significantly dependent on the teacher's understanding and expertise.

For example, the teacher in the video shown as an example of theme base instruct, centered on the theme of structure, would only be able to capitalize on this teachable moment relative to the depth and understanding she has of both her students and her own understandings of what science is, how to facilitate science literacy, and the properties and relationships about structures.

Here are some ideas about structures she could have been priming students for future explorations and learning experiences. Review these ideas on structure and relationships of walls, floors and roofs to see the potential of such a seemingly simple question that could be viewed as:

  1. A focus question to lead to learning experiences on the load of the walkway which is supported by the two houses and how it could compare to other supporting structures. or
  2. A just a trivial question asked by a dizzy purple headed person for no particular deep reason.

If you checked out the link, congratulations on your curiosity.

If not, you may not appreciate the possible depth, related to her question, that students could explore about structures. Click on it to see the possible use of science that is embedded in such a simple statement that could invite all levels of learners to explore and begin a journey toward a stronger scientific understanding and maybe a life long ambition for architecture, engineering, and construction.

 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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