How has this experience changed my perspective on research?
The RET has strengthened my already existing views on the importance of research. These past four weeks I have been telling people I feel like I am living in a science fiction novel. Most people are familiar with the saying "Today's science fiction is tomorrow's science fact." The research going on behind the doors of Dr. Han's lab reinforced my perspective on this saying. Although it may be decades down the road, their research of further mapping and understanding how the mouse brain works could impact our understanding of how humans think and learn and transform the ways we educators teach.
How has it impacted your idea of your own competence in research?
I was somewhat anxious before the RET began because I was unsure of what exactly to expect and thought my knowledge and skills as a science teacher would not be useful to the researchers with whom I I would be working. I was incredibly mistaken and surprised by how much we genuinely could help and how the skills I have acquired while teaching were directly pertinent to our task of designing a better mouse behavior box.
How do I envision changes in my classroom as a result of this experience?
I have always wanted to inspire my students to become lifelong learners and tried various lessons to get my students interested in science. However, by the time students make it in to high school they often have severe scientific misconceptions and bad habits so engrained into them that it is near impossible to unteach some of these ideas and behaviors. In order to help combat this I plan to use strategies that cater more to how the current generation learns. The video about our students being digital learners really encouraged me to seek out more ways to incorporate technology into the class. I like the text in voting and the idea of blogging homework assignments to increase student interest and involvement with daily lessons and science content in general.