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Using Photo-journals to Support Real-World Connections to Classroom Content

The Science Teacher—January/February 2024

Many teachers are asked by their students how the science content they are learning in class matters in the "real world." Although these connections may be clear to expert teachers, students often require additional support and scaffolding to see how science relates to their lives and interests. This article will detail how one 9th grade Biology teacher, Mrs. Kalivas used a guiding framework called Democratic Science Teaching to identify sources of disengagement in her class. She then developed a photo journal project that supported her students in building connections between their lives and classroom content. As a result of this work, students reported substantial growth in seeing how science could solve problems in their lives and communities. The article also provides additional considerations for using Democratic Science Teaching in a variety of contexts.

Biology Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Teaching Strategies High School

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