The Loooong Walk: Revisiting a First Day Gallery Walk on the Last Day of Class

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Wednesday


Fred Marton, Bergen Community College
Last year, I presented a first day ice-breaker activity for my intro courses, a gallery walk to get students to start thinking about science and science education by answering the questions "Why take this class?", "What do scientists do?", "What comes to mind when you think 'scientist'?", "What do you like about science?", "What do you NOT like about science?", and "Why does science matter?" Once these we, as a class had an opportunity to discuss these topics, we ended by trying to answer the question, "What basic knowledge about science should an educated person know?" Many of my colleagues found the activity interesting and were intrigued (and sometimes amused) by my students' answers. However, a number of people asked some very good questions that I could not answer at the time: Did I ask them the same questions at the end of the semester? Did their answers change at all? Did the class live up to its promise of inquiry, as delivered on the first day? Given the chance, I am now able to compare answers to the same questions and I see that the answers is, "sometimes." In some cases the answers are no different from those given on the first day of class. But in other cases, students do show that they have thought more about science, and hopefully, have had more sink in.