In order to help schools design high-quality SSI-L activities, the project team regularly arranges online seminars for schools of differernt sections. The online seminar for high schools this time was held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on January 27, 2021 in TencentMeeting. Hosted by Mr. Tan Yongping, Head of the National High School Section of SSI-L project and Director of the Biology Department of People’s Education Press, the meeting was attended by more than 20 people, including backbone teachers from 6 partner high schools, AISL expert team members, as well as heads and backbone teachers from other school sections. This seminar is open to discussion, mainly focused on the implementation of SSI-L this term.
In the first stage of this seminar, Beijing No. 9 High School reported on their achievments of SSI-L in biology group and chemistry group. Wang Yi and other students from biology group gave a report themed as “The Impact of Scientific Disinfection on Life in Post-Pandemic Era” . The research included 1) the questionnaire investigation on people’s living habits, 2) the experimental investigaton on the disinfection effect of hypochlorous acid and alcoholic disinfector, and the disinfection effect of expired and unexpired disinfectants, 3) the extended investigation from the experiment like the harm caused by long-term use of disinfectants on human body. Li Jiawei and his classmates reported on the theme of “Knowledge of 84 Disinfectant”. They shared the mechanism of 84 disinfectant, using videos to vividly show the various ways of making this disinfectant, the specific experiemental procedure, as well as the right way to use it and other things worth attention. Teacher Chang Hongjuan from Beijing No. 9 High School raised questions about the future research direction of this issue, whether to keep focusing on 84 disinfectant, or change to other protective equipment, such as masks.
Mr. Tan first thanked the students from Beijing No. 9 High School for their participation and praised their high-quality reports, which were based on science, combined with experiment, investigation, analysis and their own thinking. Regarding the report made by biology group, Mr. Tan raised several questions: 1) It’s quite different between bacteria and virus in terms of disinfection. So what’s the difference of studying virus by studying bacteria? 2) Do we need to consider the repeatability of the experiment? It is recommended to design at least three repeating groups to make the results more convincing. 3) Since students have learned biological evolution and natural selection in middle school, this issue can be considered from a different perspective. For example, will frequent use of disinfectant make certain types of microorganisms become more resistant? This issue may be more relevant to SSI-L. In response to the questions raised by Ms. Chang, Mr. Tan encouraged them to expand the original issue, fully explore its social significance, and focus more on applying scientific principles, which seemed more feasbile and more meaningful. Ms. Chang agreed his ideas and considered to make further plans, digging into the relationship between SSI-L themed in 84 disinfectant and society, the application of scientific principles. Meanwhile, she was thinking to include the microbial resistance and biological evolution into the course design.
In the second stage, teacher Zhao Yan from Beijing 101 Middle School took “Exploration of SSI Curriculum Model” as the theme, and gave her report from the following three aspects: background information of school project, theory of SSI curriculum design and its operation, and three case studies about garbage sorting, environment construction of their school, and theatre education. Mr. Tan thought this report was quite comprehensive, including not only theory and model refinement, but also case analysis. The model had a lot of things worth learning from, such as three-tutor system, product orientation, interdisciplinary research. Regarding the three cases shared by Ms. Zhao, Mr. Tan thought that the issue related to school enviroment construction, themed in “water environment of 101” is particularly in line with the school’s characteristic and is closely integrated with SSI-L issues, having the potential to reach international standards. Meanwhile, in terms of the presentation, Mr. Tan suggested to sort out this issue from the several dimensions of SSI-L. For the other two cases, Mr. Tan thought the issue of garbage sorting is universal, and the issue of theatre education is still far away from social science issues.
In the third stage, teacher Yang Ying from the Affiliated High School of Shanxi Normal University shared their experience of SSI-L implementation in combination with SSI-L activities this semester. She introduced that their school follows the principle of teaching students a wide range of knowledge but with focused knowledge points; meanwhile, they carry out SSI-L class activities by the logic of “What is it? Where is it? Why is it here? What impact does it have here? What should we do?”. In practice, Ms. Yang and the teaching team she’s in found that if teachers can help students grasp new knowledge based on what they have learnt, they can get better performance and the students will become more enthusiastic. However, if the knowledge is new to students, they may pretend to learn or cannot learn as good as they do in the former situation. In addition, Ms. Yang believed that the teaching materials need to be new and fresh, or the students will get tired and bored. In terms of organizing teaching activities, Ms. Yang suggested we should help students get rid of the habit of relying on teachers too much, and guide them to prove their predictions by thinking more and discussing more. At the same time, we should try to raise controversial issues in the class so that students can see some ill-structured problems. By role-playing, they can learn to think from different perspectives, and avoid general discussions, thus perform better. In general, Ms. Yang thought that though they only carried out a few SSI-L class activities this semester, both the teachers and students have benefited from these activities.
Mr. Tan thought the SSI-L issue developed by Ms. Yang’s school is a very good one. It starts from a rural perspective. When implemented, it can focus on the application of exisiting knowledge, and improve students’ way of thinking during the application, providing a good example for all of us. Then, teacher Liang Boyan from Zhuzhou Gofront Middle School in Hunan Province shared the implementation plan for the lesson of “The Cause of Lung Cancer”. Mr. Tan thought this activity is originally designed for fresh students in high school, but considering the limit of students’ knowledge at that time, it’s suggested to postpone this activity to junior year when students have a good command of relevant knowledge.
At the final stage, SSI-L project leader Lin Jing first thanked Mr. Tan for leading the high school section, and at the same time expressed her gratitude to all the high schools that have started SSI-L activities this semester. Secondly, Prof. Lin advised that Beijing No. 9 High School can further develop an integrated model so as to show the achievements of China’s science education to the international society. Thirdly, Prof. Lin believed that the SSI-L issues developed by partner high schools are completely consistent with the current new curriculum standards for high school, the concepts of which are the most advanced, thus conducting SSI-L activities also means practicing the new curriculum standards. Finally, Ms. Lin shared with the teachers her ideas and plans to proceed teacher trainig in the future and further promote the SSI-L activities. She said, by practice and practice, we will definitely move forward. Every school will grow together by mutual help and experts’ guidance.