Ask any elementary education major their opinion on science, and chances are most of their responses will be negative. In a few years, these same students may be asked to teach science to equally disinterested elementary school students. How can they be expected to be great science teachers and instill in children a love of science if they do not even like science themselves? Education professor Dr. Phyllis Rumpp saw this problem as something that desperately needed to be changed. She used her great determination and motivational skills to put this change into place.
Rumpp has been a professor on campus for three years and her plan was to get her ideas for a new science program for teachers up and running. She used her time here to instill an innovative new program for elementary education majors. Rumpp has implemented a new science program that not only teaches college students scientific material, but also shows them how to teach this material to elementary students.
Students think this is a great program for educators, since it connects in depth science taught at a college level to science that they can use someday in a first grade classroom. Before this program was established, students may have learned intensive material about chemistry to fulfill their science requirements, but nothing about biology and absolutely nothing about how to connect this material to first grade lesson plans.
In this new program, students will learn how to present science lesson plans to children through fun, interactive ways. They will also receive all of the background information about the subject matter so that they will be well educated on it.
Topics studied in this program include biological principles, basic physics, a general view of chemistry and some ecology, so that students get a chance to learn a little of everything.
Senior elementary education major, Christina D’Annunzio thinks that Rumpp is a great teacher because she is always there for her students. “She had a meeting with me outside of her office because she lost her keys. Instead of canceling the meeting like many professors would have, we stayed and talked in the hall for a while,” D’Annunizo said. This kind of devotion to her students was evident to everyone who ever had her in class. Senior elementary education major, Kathleen Walker said, “She rarely left class early, even though there was another teacher teaching us, and she was always willing to answer questions about anything, even non-school related things.”
Senior elementary education major Lisa DeFino described her thoughts about Rumpp’s departure. Defino said, “Dr. Rumpp has been a great asset to the education department. For only being here three years, she has accomplished whatever she set her mind to. Her passion about science is contagious.” DeFino also sums up Rumpp’s departure by saying,”Although she is a little lady, they’re going to need some big shoes to fill her position.”
Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@yahoogroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.
Posted to the web by: Matt Schill