Teacher of Physics and Forensic Chemistry
All class information will be posted on Google Classroom
Welcome to the school year 2023-2024. I am excited! This year I will be teaching Physics and Forensics in addition to co-teaching a couple of classes, one in Chemistry and one in Environmental Science.
This year I am excited to be using an approach developed at Rutgers University by Professor Eugenia Etkina and her associates. The approach is called ISLE (for Investigative Science Learning Environment). ISLE is one of the modern approaches to learning called active learning. In ISLE, students learn Physics by doing Physics. This will be my second year of using ISLE and this year's students will benefit from the many ways to deploy it here at Long Branch that last year's students helped me develop.
As in past years, in my Forensics Science class we will be using the "case study" approach to learning. Case studies are used extensively in Law and Business Schools and give us the opportunity to explore ideas authentically and deeply. Students interested in pursuing a career in the criminal justice field can dig into issues to a depth rarely approached in the standard high school class. Students are expected to become opinionated on fundamental issues associated with each case and then to argue the correctness of their opinion based on evidence from topics learned in class and research that they themselves have done on their own. Students taking Forensics as an elective, perhaps motivated by having watched CSI or Criminal Minds, can learn what life as a police officer, detective or criminal lawyer is really like! This year we will be studying the OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, The Atlanta Child Murders and the Zodiac cases.
Since it wouldn't be me if we weren't experimenting with new ways to add value to our learning, I am going to introduce two items:
- First, I plan to trial standards-based, student grading an approach in which students are encouraged to develop their own learning goals and expected to grade their growth based on progress towards those goals.
- Second, this year, I will be teaching teamwork. Collaborative learning is integral to modern approaches to education. In past years, students' ability to work within a team was assumed. This year we will take it on as a worthy learning objective in its own right.
Physics and Forensics students can look forward to partnering with me to explore both of these exciting additions to our learning.
It's going to be a great year!