Phone: (253) 983-2328
Degrees and Certifications:
B.S. - Physics and Physical Chemistry - The Evergreen State College MiT - Secondary Science - The Evergreen State College 5-12 Physics Teaching Certificate 5-12 Chemistry Teaching Certificate
Mr. James Jarnagin
To contact me, please use ParentSquare or send me an email directly.
- Intro. to E & D
Students bring their lives to school, and they take the knowledge and skills learned from every classroom they enter. They are the future of the generations to come, therefore it is my responsibility as a science educator to teach them scientific concepts and practices that explain to them not only the information, but metacognitive practices that will promote their engagement within society. Using my knowledge of Physics and Chemistry along with the information that I have accumulated over my lifetime, I adapt my construction of scaffolded learning opportunities to fit every individual within my classroom. This reflective practice influenced by students, faculty and staff, and events that transpire within the community that I teach create the classroom environment that allows for this critical thinking to take place and is continually changing to fit the needs of the students. Their entry into society with these skills is the reason teachers give students the opportunity to learn through the variety of disciplines a school offers.
In traditional schooling, I feel that science has taken on two lenses that I wish to remove from my practice, which is a context neutral mindset and a color blind approach to learning. Milner defines a color blind approach as a teacher who does not factor in race or class because it is irrelevant to the content they are teaching. A student’s life is in the school, and it cannot be left at the door when they enter the classroom. They have a bias that affects their education, and it’s important to hold the multiple perspectives that a student may have because of their lived experience both inside and outside the classroom. With a context neutral mindset, the scope of learning narrows to a classroom level of focus, negating the perspective of the outside community. Students within my class will make science a part of their lives, taking the information they learn within my class and bring it to their surrounding community and society. The social context of science is what will help students learn the critical thinking skills needed to participate within society. This extension into the community is an influence into my practice as an educator, and I need to adhere and respect the perspective of the community members inside and surrounding the school.
Constructing information for a student to receive is a practice traditional schooling enforces by giving knowledge through repetition, but to build opportunities for students to construct knowledge encompasses an understanding that accesses the higher-order thinking that students need to learn. Konicek-Moran speaks about the Constructivist theory of learning by Piaget, describing it as a blueprint of the mind, or schema, that is altered through a disequilibration. Accommodation and assimilation help students adapt their schema to an equilibrating point until is it again challenged and disequilibrated. Science inquiry follows these steps, using higher order thinking to explain the natural phenomena of the world. An inquiry-based classroom is a student-centered sandbox that they can create and explore the reasons why the world behaves as it does. Llewellyn’s description of argument driven inquiry is the classroom environment that I will create with every class I have. To reason a claim through empirical evidence is a crucial skill needed to function within society, and that practice spans beyond the science classroom.
My transparency is what I will use to engage student trust in building the classroom community. This mutual respect that I will hold myself and my students accountable for is what will aid in my understanding of my practice to and with them in an effort to reach the learning targets that they want to achieve. It is my responsibility to help scaffold these gaps that students cannot cross alone and give them the necessary tools and information they need to construct their own understanding of scientific concepts and practices. In doing so, I am engaging them in critical thinking strategies that will propel them forward within their lives and their communities.