Developing Boys’ Character Through Science

Rachel Carr, Middle School Science Teacher
I once read that the job of every good science teacher is to awaken a love for science in the hearts of their students. I have tried to incorporate this into my teaching, and by doing so, I quickly found that developing a passion and love for science has led to the development of character in my students.
One of the key guiding principles in science class is to engage the students in exploration. This in turn gives them an opportunity to challenge their current beliefs. By creating their own experiments to test theories and exploring issues of their choosing, the students cultivate a sense of curiosity about the world. It also teaches them to not be afraid to challenge the status quo. This gives the students the fire and drive to not accept the world as is, just because it is the way it has always been, but to fight for what they believe in. The process of investigation and inquiry helps them develop resilience too, because even if their hypothesis is rejected, they learn how to see the setback as a new opportunity to look at the problem from another perspective.

By engaging in debates about ethics in cell and genetic technology developments, students are forced to confront their preconceived notions and to critically analyze issues. They not only learn to make convincing arguments by supporting their opinions with facts, but they also have to research the opposing perspectives. This activity helps the boys learn how to communicate their ideas and beliefs with courage. More importantly, it teaches them how to take a multitude of perspectives into account in their approach. The students develop an understanding that their viewpoint may not be the only one, that there can be multiple perspectives that are equally valid and acceptable, and that they all deserve acknowledgement.

I truly believe that the nature of science lends itself naturally to the development of character, and the science courses at Crescent are no exception. As students develop a passion for inquiry and exploration, what they are really doing is developing the skills and behaviours that will set them apart as true Men of Character who will be able to change to world around them for the better.

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