This wiki, for the moment, is about preparing for middle school teaching exams, but ultimatlely it will be about teaching kids to learn
Obviously, this content (and it is content built from fact and not constructed knowledge) is not about teaching, but an attempt to filter teachers entering into school systems. It has become vitally important for many future teachers, as well as practicing teachers, to do well on these exams to enter into, or to remain in, school district systems.
The initial purpose of this wiki is "teaching to the test," which is a concept aborhent many educators, and rightfully so. What teachers need to do for their students, is to teach them to organize their knowledge, to construct a solid understanding of their world from integrated learnings, and also just as important, to teach them to organize socially to collaborate with their companions to build what can be called a community of knowledge, or community knowledge.
Having said all that, I ask you to join in the process of creating science understanding built on the framework of required learning developed for teacher testing. In the real world, I would hope that teachers can all learn to wrap these required learnings into real world examples that students can relate to directly to help build their relationship with the world and with each
I am John van V. My website, Thinman.com, is a combination of Technology (soft and hard), Humanism in the forms of Empathy and Synergy, and middle school education. There is art too, however the site needs to become a true portal to integrate collaborative community --a necessity for art; at the moment the art is at Thinman.com/photography.
My most important writing at the moment is my degree project about empathy as emotional communication, called "Spiritual Darwinism;" it is at Thinman.com/empathy. It ranks 20 right now on Google for empathy in relation to what Darwin called "natural empathy," or the basis of morality.
My beliefs about how to teach middle school science are contained in two papers, Learning to Learn and Teaching About Hurricanes.
My greatest recent influence in both teaching and life is "What Children Bring to Light" by Bonnie Shapiro.--John van v 22:45, 29 July 2007 (UTC)