Connecting Scientific Inquiry to Relevance and Rigor for the 21st Century Learner: ANOVA Science President's Keynote Talk Inspires Teachers

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The Kaimuki Complex principals, tasked with enabling 400 teachers to reach this year's teaching and learning goals and under the theme: The new 3 R's (Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships), unanimously elected to use Dr. Robert Landsman, president of ANOVA Science Education Corporation and developer of the Research Investigation Process (RIP ®), as keynote speaker, citing his expertise, knowledge and dedication to the development of critical thinking and student-centered learning through the scientific inquiry process.

ANOVA Science Education Corporation (ANOVA Science; http://www.ScientificInquiry.com) president Dr. Robert Landsman, neuroscientist and developer of the RIP ® (Research Investigation Process), infused his keynote address to the Kaimuki Complex Teachers with some of the latest research on learning and the brain to drive home the benefits of RIP Scientific Inquiry, a research-based approach to K-12 education. The presentation, titled "The Global Movement to Revamp Education: Making Neural Connections with Scientific Inquiry," was delivered on September 5, to mark Kaimuki Complex Professional Celebration Day 2008-2009; some 400 teachers, principals and support staff attended this event at Kaimuki High School in Honolulu.

"The brain changes during a person's lifetime. Cells in areas of the brain associated with learning and memory can grow and new cells can appear throughout life," said Dr. Landsman, a former Postdoctoral Scholar at the UCLA Brain Research Institute, where he conducted research in psychoneuroimmunology. "Modern imaging techniques that allow us to look at brain structures and their function indicate that the more thinking and learning we do, the more these brain areas fire up and the more potential is created for future learning due to enhanced brain cell connections. Current research indicates that the cells in these brain areas can show dramatic growth especially in children and young adults." The scientist-educator also cited some very recent data pointing to higher learning as a defense against Alzheimer's disease. "In essence, current data suggest the more educated a person, the less risk of Alzheimer's or, at least, the scarcer the appearance of the symptoms and related deficits associated with this dreaded disease" he said, "so the teacher's role becomes even more crucial to the lifelong well-being of the student and to those significant in their lives."

Dr. Landsman engaged the forum's theme of Rigor, Relevance and Relationships (3R's) by connecting the effectiveness of RIP -- a research-based critical thinking process that addresses science education by placing the student at the center of instruction -- to the latest studies on how the brain absorbs and manipulates information. "Research shows we will need to have the ability to apply knowledge," he explained. "Recently-surveyed CEOs indicate that adaptability will be the quality most valued in the 21st century workplace, so RIP is automatically relevant," he said.

When asked about the connections between the keynote talk and the complex's future direction, Hawaii State Department of Education Complex Area Superintendent Clayton Kaninau responded, "Dr. Landsman contributed to the teachers' understanding of educating the 21st Century Learner by explaining the latest brain research and how these findings should impact our practices in our schools and classrooms. Enriched environments that have students interact socially to solve problems and think at higher levels all contribute to developing healthy brains and the skills needed in the 21st Century. As the complex teachers work toward developing lessons that strive toward rigor and relevance, Dr. Landsman illustrated how the Research Investigation Process instructional model allows students to apply their knowledge to real world unpredictable situations as the students answer their own research questions."

"Besides the keynote, six of the twenty morning breakout sessions were RIP presentations shared by "RIP~ing @ Science" project participants. These K-12 general and special education teachers shared with colleagues their students' life science, chemistry, earth science, physics, language arts, social studies, and mathematics scientific inquiries that used the RIP. "I am so pleased at this outcome," Pam Kohara, Math and Science Grant Coordinator/Technology Resource Teacher, said of the speech. "These teachers have grown in confidence and are examples of how the impact of the RIP has not only provided our teachers with the system for addressing scientific inquiry and critical thinking, but how it has truly resulted in a community of learners," she added.

Dr. Landsman stated, "The teacher presentations exemplified the use of scientific inquiry as a tool that promotes rigorous learning that is extremely important to the student and that is supported by the development and fostering of relationships in and out of school."

RIP is a trademark or registered trademark and service mark or registered service mark of ANOVA Science Education Corporation, ANOVA Science Publishing, and Dr. Robert Landsman in the U.S. and/or other countries. ANOVA Science Education Corporation assists schools in implementing scientific research-based science education programs, providing students with critical thinking and decision-making tools for life-long learning skills that support economic growth and the maintenance of security in the USA. As sole distributor of products and services associated with the Research Investigation Process (RIP ®) inquiry-based science education program for K-12 schools, the contribution of ANOVA Science's vision, services and products toward the nation's movement for science education reform has been recognized and is well received by national and state education organizations. ANOVA Science's activities and services include professional development workshops, seminars and projects; teacher coaching and mentoring; curriculum development addressing state and national standards; and publishing education materials available on-line at http://www.anovascience.com or http://www.ScientificInquiry.com.

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