FULL CIRCLE SCIENCE
Science is FUN and useful! Everyone can enjoy learning about science and about how to utilize the scientific process and content in ways that are meaningful and relevant.
The Full Circle curriculum and framework for learning science (and other subjects via tangential tie-ins), is intended not only to provide a deep, broad, personal science education, but also to use science and the scientific process as tools to help find, develop, hone, optimize and actualize the potential of diverse young people from pre K through undergraduate level--whatever their demographics, background, or level of advancement (highly capable/G&T, 2e, special needs). This curriculum provides "high ceiling" or "no ceiling" science lessons where neither the sky nor outer space is the limit. This curriculum is intended to inspire and motivate children, even those profoundly gifted and on the Autism spectrum, to move at their own pace, depth, and breadth in their areas of interest, as well as their areas of challenge.
Since 1989 Jen Seron, AKA Science Jen, has been developing curriculum to meet the needs of diverse young people, parents, and teachers. Through trying to meet the needs of her own profoundly gifted son and the multitude of science students in institutional and informal settings indoors and out, at the Pre K through undergraduate level, Science Jen has learned that the key to effective education in general is to create an exciting learning environment in which individuals of all ages can succeed and grow in their areas of strength while addressing challenges in positive ways. It is amazing what kind of progress children can make when provided with a robust framework to support their growth and provide opportunities for children to scaffold their strengths to overcome their challenges. Many good instructors already know and do these things!
Because this learning environment demands accommodation for every possible demographic, setting, type of child, learning style, and interest-area, Jen called her framework Full Circle. Over the last ten years she has been developing and testing her Full Circle learning environment and has repeatedly found that because science relies upon observation and experimentation in the natural world, science and the Full Circle learning environment is accessible to every student in daily life, wherever they live, whatever their background, and whoever they are.
Our children represent our collective future. As individuals and as a culture, the education of our young people is our most important investment. The natural world is central to our existence and children are curious about everything they perceive. Science education, beginning in preschool, can be used to excite even the youngst children about education and to provide a concrete bridge from the natural world to every other subject.
CHILDREN DRIVE THE PROCESS
Children deserve to have fun while learning about themselves, the natural world, and science. As many experienced or intuitive teachers may know, the key to engaging children in learning is to focus on individual interest, skill, and talent development and allow children to follow their interests and to work at their own pace, depth, and breadth in their subjects of strength and in their subjects of challenge. The scientific process means using observation of events, people, and things in the natural world, collaboration, replicable data collection, repeated trials, reflecting on evidence, and sharing results with peers, in order to test hypotheses, discover new things, or to potentially improve quality of life. Although it is value-neutral, the scientific process can be used to help children to optimize and actualize their potential while at the same time they learn science content and more about the natural world, including themselves. Within a consistent structure, children themselves can drive the direction, depth, and focus of the curriculum and indeed, each lesson. Even the content within a lesson should be customized to address or accommodate individual learning differences, and to develop interests, skills, and talents of each child using additional activities spanning other subject-areas. Science provides a great starting place for talent, interest, and skill development because science is grounded in the concrete natural world, just like education ought to be grounded in creating learning environments conducive to the development and actualization of individual potential of even the most advanced, 2e, special needs, ESL/ESOL learner from every demographic in every community.
FAMILIES AS PARTNERS
Families deserve resources that will allow them to support and inspire children--even the most advanced of children. The Full Circle paradigm has no ceiling because children themselves drive the content. Highly capable children exist in every demographic and community. Even children who have not exhibited "giftedness," when provided with a sufficiently exciting or inspiring environment, may begin to excel and take on traits that people associate with "giftedness." The Full Circle framework should be used by families to develop talent, skills, and interests as well as to teach science. Science Jen involves parents by asking them to collaborate in regard to what topics, subjects, and content will be most useful and relevant to their children. Parents are integral collaborators and partners along with children! Even unschoolers will appreciate the open-ended lists of tangential activities spanning many subject-areas intended to excite even those children whose interests currently do not include science. :-)
INSTRUCTORS CREATE THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Teachers deserve resources that will allow them to inspire children and to teach science and its interdisciplinary interconnectedness with ease, as well as to do record-keeping without weeping. Whether a teacher is a veteran science instructor or has never taught science, the Full Circle lessons and paradigm provides a plethora of fun for all, in addition to meeting and exceeding federal and state standards. Teachers will find the simple alignment checklists invaluable as time-saving devices in regard to documenting compliance with standards. The most important thing is that everyone will enjoy science and look forward to learning more at each session.
GROUPS AND SCHOOLS SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION OF SCIENCE
Groups and schools deserve a curriculum they can tailor to their own demographics and needs. They deserve an iterative, easily understood science curriculum that grows with children and that at the youngest ages can be implemented with readily available things in the natural world, with things already in the lives of children, and with objects that children consider exciting. Schools and groups deserve to be able to have curriculum that allows easy record-keeping and documentation of compliance with regulations, as well as seamless, complementary integration with curricular goals in other subject areas.
DISTRICTS AND STATES BENEFIT
Districts and states need a qualified, motivated, and diverse work force composed of people who have a strong understanding of all areas of science and technology as well as the flexibility of mind to take on a variety of roles as the needs of society change over time. The Full Circle educational framework promotes personal engagement and lifelong learning by all involved by encouraging and creating an environment for individual interest, skill, and talent development. If every person in society were to optimize and actualize their talents, then communities, districts, and our whole society would benefit!
ADVOCACY FOR TALENT, SKILL, AND INTEREST DEVELOPMENT AND SCIENCE APPLIED TO REAL LIFE
While teaching and developing curriculum Science Jen has also been advocating for the last four years at the state level that the goal of education ought to be talent, skill, and interest development of individual children. Each of us can advocate for our diverse children by providing children with opportunities to direct their own educational journey and to move at their own pace in each subject, no matter how accelerated, or uneven. Every child has something to offer our society. If children were provided with a sufficiently rich and exciting learning environments and given the chance to optimize and actualize their potential the entire world would be a better place. We can make a difference child by child, family by family, community by community!
We use the products of science every day, yet few of us use the scientific process in our daily lives. Like the technology we use every day, science and the Full Circle learning environment can enrich our lives!