Jenni Vartiainen, PhD
Teachers, stop buying educational resources, achieve perfection by yourselves.
A few days ago, a professor stated in a teachers’ professional magazine that teachers should stop buying programs that provide teachers with educational resources to conduct science education. Instead, she stated, teachers should get trained and create resources by themselves.
As a science education researcher and teacher-trainer, the notion that teachers should train themselves and create their own resources gravely concerns me.
Science is regarded as one of the most challenging topics to teach, especially for kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers. We know that teachers feel a lack of confidence when they are designing hands-on experiments for young children. They also struggle to connect scientific inquiry lessons with play activities, pedagogy that is critical to a child’s understanding of scientific phenomena, according to research. Furthermore, planning science education is incredibly time-consuming. It’s no secret that teachers are extremely stressed with their workload. Ready-made and pedagogically high-quality materials, lesson plans, and hands-on experiments are available and they can save teachers considerable amounts of time and effort. If the resources are available - why shouldn’t teachers use them?
In educational discourse, the topic of what learning materials and tools are acceptable to buy is - and will always be - controversial. Why is buying resources like books and manipulatives normal, but buying a program that guides teachers to implement play-based science education off the mark? Let’s listen to this professor who encourages teachers to train themselves and create materials by themselves rather than pay for ready-made lesson plans: Teachers, let’s stop buying books! Let’s get trained and learn to author them by ourselves. Let’s stop buying educational toys, we should craft them on our own. Buying musical instruments? No, we can make our own!
Teachers: do everything perfectly by yourself. Soon, you’ll see there is no limit to how perfect the burnout you will achieve is.