Dennis Pack

IT Support, Australian Volunteers International
Korobu, Tarawa, Kiribati

About Dennis

Bio

Currently on a 2 year volunteer assignment at the Marine Training Centre in Betio, Tarawa, The Republic of Kiribati. Previous experience includes 30+ years of teaching Science, Biology, Chemistry, ICT, and Geography in the US (Oregon and Texas), Australia (South Australia), and Paraguay (Asuncion). I am so glad I have found this little piece of the Pacific where the people are so wonderful and the lifestyle simple and sustainable. And absolute privilege to be here. Sad that Kiribati may be one of the first countries to succumb to rising sea levels, being less than 2 metres above sea level. The world will lose a truly wonderful culture.

An idea worth spreading

Sir Ken Robinson's talk on how current education practices destroy creativity in students ... I'd add teachers, as well!

Comments & conversations

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Dennis Pack
Posted over 2 years ago
Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?
So true Yu-An ... love your statement "need to be interested in the subject and are willing to open the txtbooks themselves," Nothing beats self-motivation ... Always told parents "I can't teach you son/daughter anything if they don't want to learn" ... my job? Get them excited and interested ... then, learning just happens.
146534
Dennis Pack
Posted over 2 years ago
Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?
I also found, working with other teachers, that many are afraid the kids aren't learning if they are too excited, or having fun, or not sitting down quietly taking notes or answering questions out of the book! Science is everywhere ... all you have to do as a teacher is connect what you want kids to learn with what's around them in their world. I always told the kids that I liked teaching science because they already knew everything ... it was just my job to connect their life to what they needed to "know" for some other power to be. Now Mary, stop calling me Mr. Pack ... I don't need to be reminded how old I am! ;-) And it's equally nice to hear of all those who "practice" science with their students ... instead of spoon feeding "facts".
146534
Dennis Pack
Posted over 2 years ago
Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?
Taught "science" in Texas a few years ago ... wasn't even provided with any lab facilities, nor were there any plans to. I did receive several great big textbooks, though! My science room was a mess by the end of year ... refused to teach without hands-on activities. Most of the materials I used were from the neighboring hardware store or large grocery chain. Students achieved over 90% on their science TAKS tests .... state average was in the 70s.
146534
Dennis Pack
Posted over 2 years ago
Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?
Mary, I don't think it is so much a fear of science, as it is a response to what science is in their schools ... a body of facts you must memorize so you can pass the standardized tests you'll be subjected to several time throughout your education. It is mostly taught with no relevance to THEIR lives ...