Who Has Time (or Patience) for That?
by Brianna Fisher
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What one thing do students need to learn in school to pave the way for success in a future career? Facts? The ability to memorize? While facts and memorization are valuable components to education, we've seen a shift from fact memorization in schools to practicing deeper thinking. The world of work has been changing at an unprecedented rate in the last century, with no slowing down for our futures. Students of today "will be working with a knowledge that hasn't been invented yet," according to Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor of education at Stanford University. She elaborates, "We want them to have transferable knowledge and skills,...that they can apply and use." Many educators struggle with this, because it's difficult to put a grade on the growth of a student's critical thinking, collaboration and self-directed learning skills. Regardless of that difficulty, teachers understand the necessity of growing those skills. But how do you make time for that while still building a firm foundation of the curriculum standards to which teachers?

As a former teacher, I know it's not easy. Building lessons that not only cover the basics, but integrate opportunities for collaboration and critical thinking is time consuming. And when you have a class that is riddled with discipline problems or low performing kids, you start to wonder if all that hard work is even worth it. We all know it is, but it's easy to lose sight of it. Enter GAMTTEP. We've produced and pulled together resources from all around the country that have done all the hard work for you. Our lesson plans provide for collaboration and critical thinking, while still assessing basic standards, all under the STEM and transportation umbrella. For instance, let's talk about parabolas, something kids will never ever think about again - or so they think! In the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Transportation Systems Engineering Teacher Resource Center, we found and linked to an excellent lesson from Mr. John Catlett entitled Applications of Parabolas - Vertical Crest Road Design. This lesson brings parabolas to life as students learn how parabolas are used in roadway design and are put in the place of a roadway design engineer, providing them with a glimpse into their possible future. This isn't just for high schoolers either - we even have lessons for the little guys that address the same goal of teaching the basics while integrating collaboration and critical thinking. In Helping Curious George Ride a Bike Safely by the Kentucky Department of Transportation, students read a story and evaluate the things that happened on George's bike ride. Then students are broken up into small groups to create a book that depicts safer bicycle activity for George to engage in.

A teacher's job is inherently difficult - raising the future is no small task. GAMTTEP is trying to make your life as a teacher simpler, while furthering student knowledge of transportation careers that they didn't even know existed (or are so fun!). If you're interested in contributing lessons to GAMTTEP, don't hesitate to reach out!


Rosales, John (12 November 2015). "Closing the Opportunity Gap in Deeper Learning." neaToday.
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This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation under Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH6114H00004. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Knox County Schools is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which prevents discrimination against any individual on the basis of physical or mental disability by providing equal access to its educational programs and activities.
The GAMTTEP Clearinghouse is funded by the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and administered by Knox County Schools in Knoxville, Tennessee, under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-14-G-004, with cooperation from the University of Tennessee's Center for Transportation Research, University of Tennessee's Institute of Agriculture, and North Carolina A&T State University's Transportation Institute.