İsmail Dönmez, Turkey
Cebeci Primary School
Subject and Grade Taught:
Science Teacher and 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th Grade
Years in Amgen Teach community:
Participation in Amgen Teach programme:
Bilim İçin EleEle –TED University -September,2014 Ankara -Turkey
İsmail attended an Amgen Teach science teacher training workshop in September 2014, organised by a team from TED University.
He teaches science at the Cebeci Primary School in Ankara and has eight years of experience as an educator.
İsmail acknowledges the challenges of the inquiry-based approach, saying: "I know that is not an easy process to gain all the abilities to use inquiry-based science education in the classroom. Research shows that it takes more than two years."
Despite this, İsmail has already found in Amgen Teach programme a lot of resources to help engage his students. He now has the knowledge to fully prepare for an inquiry-based class and to manage the discussions that will spring from it. He says he has learned to "devote more time to debate between students, encouraging them to ask more questions about a topic."
And the approach is already bearing fruit. "They really enjoy group work and look forward to new experiments – providing feedback: 'let's do all lessons this way'. They are bored with classical methods like teacher-centred education," he explains.
One specific activity that really struck a chord with İsmail's students was designing an experiment to test the vitamin C content of fruit juices. To their great surprise, one brand of juice they tested contained none at all – illustrating the use of science in the real world.
İsmail is very passionate about Amgen Teach and the benefits it can bring. "It plays a key role in developing some inquiry skills such as planning investigations, analysing, evaluating, critiquing data and evidence, developing models and making inferences based on evidence." Additionally, he says, inquiry-based learning "involves teamwork, effective communication and other 21st century skills. As a result, more students are likely to take up science-based careers and strongly contribute to a scientifically literate society."
In conclusion, he underlines the importance of teachers, quoting the founder of the modern Turkish state, Kamal Atatürk: "teachers – the future generations should be your masterpiece".