We focus on the student, all else will follow.
The RATATAZ method introduces students to scientific vocabulary with lessons that are sequenced so that students can better understand and remember what they have learned. We solve the problem that students face when learning complicated upper-level science by giving them the building blocks of science in the early grades. When students are prepared before they get to high school and college, they do better on their exams, feel more confident tacking difficult subjects, and pursue STEM careers.
We incorporate multiple learning theories.
“It is a commonly held belief that problem-based learning works and that the best way to learn how to solve problems is to solve them. However this is not so. Glaser & Chi (1988) tell us that, essentially, we need to know facts in order to solve problems. Skills are domain-specific and you need knowledge (facts) in that domain to solve problems in present. You can’t set an attacking field for a fast bowler in cricket without first knowing how to play cricket.”
The Nature of Expertise Edited By Michelene T.H. Chi, Robert Glaser, Marshall J. Farr
(1988) eBook Published2 December 2013, New York, Psychology Press DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315799681, pp. 470
RATATAZ lessons recognize that “learning produces development” not the other way around.
“Children lack knowledge and experience but not reasoning ability. Development and learning are not two parallel processes. Early biological underpinnings enable certain types of interactions, and through various environmental supports from caregivers and other cultural and social supports, a child’s experiences for learning are expanded. Learning is promoted and regulated both by children’s biology and ecology, and learning produces development.”
National Research Council. 2000. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/9853 pg. 113.
RATATAZ closes the “knowledge gap.”
Although educators rely on the work of psychologist Jean Piaget in arguing abstract concepts in science are developmentally inappropriate, research shows that children’s development doesn’t proceed in a series of fixed, discrete stages, but depends on the child, the task, and even the day. Young children are more capable of abstract thinking than Piaget believed. If young children are introduced to science in concrete and understandable ways, chances are they’ll be far better equipped to reengage with them with more nuance later on.
The knowledge gap : the hidden cause of America’s broken education system : and how to fix it
by Natalie Wexler, New York, NY, Penguin 2019.hv