At TrinityTutors we do not spoon-feed our learners information out of science textbooks organized into topics according to the publishers’ preferences—information faceless entities meeting off in who knows where decided students ought to know.
Nor do we feel an inclination to “rescue” them from “needless error” or “save them from wasted time and energy” by presenting science in its final form, and in the process, isolate it from the very aspects that make it relatable and meaningful, and separate it from its significance and connections to people’s lives.
So rather than treat science as a body of information to be relayed to students beginning at what, for those who initially made its discoveries, was essentially the conclusion of years of research; our students begin with their own experiences, mastering the principles of science while focusing their efforts on constructing a body of knowledge that is both directional and intentional—including the seven crosscutting concepts.
Any loss of time is more than made up for by their superior understanding and the interest they develop. Moreover, by following the same methods their predecessors used to reach perfected knowledge, they become competent at dealing with the material at their own level, without the lack of clarity that results from studying in the abstract.
Since most students will not become scientific experts anyway, it is more important for them to gain insight into what scientific methodology means than simply memorize—second hand—the results reached by others. If there is any loss in "ground covered," they will at least be well versed as far as they go, and those who do go on to become scientists will be better prepared than if they had been swamped with a mass of purely symbolic and technical information.
Consequently, this lesson plan employs our bedrock pedagogy of “mastery learning,” which merely means we do not move on to a new set of concepts until learners are thoroughly familiar with—meaning able to verbalize—those already introduced.
The reason for this is simple. Our goal (or one of them) is for our learners to put what they learn to use on a regular basis. However, they cannot use it if they are not consciously aware of it—at least not in an intentional and purposeful manner, which is our intention.
If they are able to verbalize what they have learned, it is relatively safe to assume they have also added it to their repertoire of skills and knowledge so that whatever they need from their arsenal of intellectual weaponry is available to them whenever they need it.
Because our approach to science is to have our students make as many firsthand discoveries as possible, they are expected to think scientifically. In plain English, this means that we expect them to be constantly on the lookout for what we call the seven all-encompassing concepts, which is why this first lesson in our science series focuses on the crosscutting concepts.