This Book Contains Research-Proven Methods for Improving Learning by Using Relevant and Real World Contexts. The challenge to all of us in education is to find ways to make learning visible by connecting school work and real life for the students we serve. One of the ways to do that is to call on "the hand in the back of the room" and answer "why" with real world relevancy. Students' understanding, mastery of basic science curriculum, and ability to use science concepts have been shown to improve when the science concepts were taught in the relevant and real world context of agriculture. Teachers many times fail to provide a context through observations, inferences, and actions appropriate for students to make the connection to the real world. These connections help the students to understand higher-level science concepts. Through his research, Byron Ernest investigated low student achievement in science and the social change impact of real world application through a study of agricultural science. Other current research on teaching science in a relevant context and the opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration are also discussed. Ernest examined using transformative educational strategies to help students move from memorizing facts and content to constructing knowledge in meaningful and useful ways. With collaboration and shared knowledge creation, through the learning organization, teachers begin to understand how to break down the walls of isolationism. When the teachers realize what each department or subject area does impacts the other, and more importantly their students, then the science, agriculture, and other departments can work together to share best practices. The ultimate goal of education is to improve student achievement and performance, and the contents of this book reveal that teaching science in a relevant context could positively impact this achievement and performance.
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The Hand In The Back of the Room: Connecting School Work To Real Life based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite The Hand in the Back of the Room (Connecting School Work to Real Life) by Dr. Byron L Ernest is a non-fiction education book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who are or have an interest in the field of education, child care, or psychology. This book is designed to teach people how to improve learning in a school environment through connecting education to real life. It has been proven that a student’s understanding of a school topic is increased when the concept is taught in a real world context. All students are taught basic science, but not all students are taught the ways in which what they are learning have a context outside of a school environment. By changing this, a student’s level of achievement and understanding of the topic could be expected to be increased. As an after school counselor, I personally found The Hand in the Back of the Room by Dr. Byron L Ernest to be an interesting book with an innovative approach to education that makes perfect sense. When I was a student, there were topics that I just focused on getting through, and then I would forget them because I could not see how the information could serve me later in life. If a teacher had taught those topics the way that Dr. Byron L Ernest suggests, I feel I would have been much more willing to retain the knowledge. As an after school counselor, I believe that I can use some of the author’s methods in working with the children in my group to help them to better understand their school work and to give their work more attention. I feel that this book should be mandatory reading for all teachers!
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/16) “The Hand in the Back of the Room” by Dr. Byron L. Ernest is a book that needs to be put in the hands of every educator in the world. In this book, Dr. Ernest shares his research study on relevancy in the classroom. Is it important for students to see relevance in what they are studying? Is relevancy more impactful on higher performing students, or students who struggle in the classroom? Dr. Ernest provides many gold nuggets throughout this book. On page one he reminds us that education must evolve with society to remain viable. He goes on to say there are three worlds that students learn in: the school world, real world, and virtual world. His research shows that providing real world relevance facilitates greater learning for students. This study uses agricultural sciences as a means to provide relevance. The author shares that the students greatly benefitted from the experience of working alongside working professionals. This book goes in-depth into the research project, similar to a dissertation or thesis. The study is laid out, literature is reviewed, and conclusions are drawn. As a former educator, I recognized many of the theories in education (Vygotsky’s Constructivist Theory, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory). Dr. Ernest’s findings, that relevance in the classroom is critical, fit right in with other theories and research from the past. The author provides recommendations for educators, including using their agricultural science programs to supplement learning of other science concepts, teacher collaboration of best practices and offering professional development for implementing teaching science with relevance. I highly recommend “The Hand in the Back of the Room” by Dr. Byron L. Ernest for all educators, not just science teachers, although I think science teachers would greatly benefit from reading this research study. As a former educator, I know the challenge of covering all the curriculum, while making the material engaging and relevant for each student. Dr. Ernest does a great job of helping us all see how important agricultural science is in the study of science in general. I wish I had read this book a decade ago when I was in the classroom!