The Excited Neuron is the blog home to an enthusiastic science educator located deep in the heart of Texas.  She has been teaching high school science students for the past four years in the public school system, but will start her fifth year at a private college prep school.  In the past, The Excited Neuron has taught biology, co-teach biology, and Advanced Placement Environmental Science.  The Excited Neuron will continue to teach biology and will shortly begin teaching anatomy and physiology as well. 

As The Excited Neuron journals on her thoughts and experiences at work, she hopes it will help others as much as it will help her.


3 Responses to “About”

  1. jelzmar October 31, 2010 at 10:53 PM #

    Hey, you replied to one of my comments and I wanted to reply back, but it didn’t have a reply button.

    Anyway, your last comment was saying that depending on subjects there are a lot of times that there is only one right answer.

    I still don’t agree with this.

    The way that teachers are taught to teach is 1 + 1 = 2 and the only way to get to 2 is to add 1 + 1. Though once you get into higher math the answer might always be the same, but there are numerous ways to get to that answer. If the one and only way that the teacher shows you doesn’t work for you. Then you will never pass the class because you aren’t allowed to do any of the other ways that might work for you. Even if you get the right answer, if you didn’t get it the way the teacher showed you it doesn’t count. Also, the teacher certainly isn’t going to show it to you. So one right answer, no there are many right answers in math. Not that we get to learn them.

    Science is all theory. We do have somethings that are Laws in science, but it is mostly theory.

    History is constantly teaching dates, name, and useless information for the most part. It pushes the ‘there is only one answer.’ There is only one name this act can have and there is only one date this battle could take place. But the importance of history isn’t when and where the people died, it is why it happened. Why did the German’s follow Hitler? Why did the Nazi listen even when they knew what they were doing wrong? Where all Nazis evil? These kind of questions have gray areas and are what we should be exploring. Not what year it happened.

    English. You would think that this was straight forward, but depending on who was grading my papers; it was never the same. I actually kind of wish this was just one answer, but it’s not. There are many different ways that you can join two sentence or styles that you can write in. I’d have one teacher who would add commas everywhere in my work, and she could never really help me understand why. Then after I made her happy I would go to another class and have that teacher take them all out. And then again, she could never help me understand why either. (I’ve learned more from the internet, than I ever did from my teachers in this subject.)

    I’m a Christian, but all religion is theory. This is big because even though religion is supposed to not be in schools, it is what the morals of our society are based on. It really pushes that things are wrong when they aren’t. When the religion itself doesn’t even say that, and you get condemn for reading it and thinking for yourself.

    • The Excited Neuron November 1, 2010 at 4:54 PM #

      There can be many ways to get the correct answer, but that doesn’t negate the fact that there really can be only one “right” answer sometimes. These are two separate issues.

      Your use of the word “theory” in science leads me to believe that you are using the word “theory” in the way that most people do–as a conjecture. This is, however, not the way it is used in science.

      I can’t speak much to your comments about History or English because I don’t teach those subjects. I agree that we should not only be teaching dates and historical facts but investigating the gray areas, too. I agree that grading can seem rather arbitrary sometimes in English classes.

      It sounds like you had a very poor experience in school. I’m sorry for that, and I know you’re not alone. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone had the same experience as you. We do need, however, to make sure we continue to weed out the kind of teaching (and the kind of teachers) that clearly led you to feel this way. 🙂

  2. Lynne Diligent March 29, 2011 at 6:51 PM #

    I was trained as a history teacher (and have since taught just about everything else), but I strongly disagree that teaching history is just about teaching dates and facts. What history is really about is exploring the why of human behavior; what situations humans or societies found themselves in, and how they went about solving those problems, what other problems their solutions created, how they solved those, etc. It’s not so much about studying the past in order not to repeat it as it is about realizing that other people in other places and times faced all of the same dilemmas that we faced today. It’s about comparing their solutions with our own today.

    In teaching math, there are many ways to arrive at the same answer (even in elementary school). All of them need to be accepted.

    In teaching science, it’s all about understanding how the world around us works. I do my best to make whatever science we are studying useful to students NOW in their lives. For example, when I taught Earth Science in Grade 3, my goal was for students to know enough to ENJOY it in their everyday lives. For example, if they are driving through a mountainous area in the car, to be able to say, “Oh, look, there are some sedimentary rocks,” and appreciate seeing the layer formations, and understand how they were formed and uplifted. Or they can pick up a rock, and say, “Oh, this is a piece of granite, or quartz, and I know what those rocks can be used for.”

    –Lynne Diligent
    Dilemmas of an Expat Tutor

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