How can the case-based teaching architecture be used with school children? Let's consider the domain of biology. Most children enter school with a great fondness and curiosity for animals, yet by the time they reach junior high school, most have decided en masse that science is dull and dry. The problem is, of course, that science is barely taught at all, and when it is taught, it is too often presented as a set of facts to be memorized rather than a choice of open-ended questions to be explored. With this problem in mind, we set out to build a biology tutor that takes advantage of children's natural affinity for animals by allowing them to explore on their own the ways in which animals survive in the wild.
What we had in mind was something as vivid as a National Geographic television special. However, instead of seeing footage of animals in the wild according to the order that some director imagined was right, students would be able to explore it themselves based on their own interests. We didn't want the students to wander through video clips aimlessly, though, we wanted their journey to be organized in a way that would provide them with general principles to help them think about biology in a sound way. The solution was to provide students with an interesting task and enable them to see video clips that helped them as they worked.
Teaching Science with Creanimate
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