avatar for D.J. Huddleston

D.J. Huddleston

DC Everest Area Schools
Weston, WI
I am a 7-12 science instructor currently teaching 7th Grade General Life Science and 7th Grade Honors Life Science at DC Everest Middle School in Weston, Wisconsin. 

There are two factors a teacher faces in developing an optimal science-learning environment: a) the physical plant, and b) the emotional climate. While the physical plant can greatly affect the emotional climate, I believe the learning environment is more greatly determined by the teacher’s pedagogical approach. In science, the current debate is: “Does a student-centered approach to education produce higher summative high stakes standardized test score than traditional teacher-centered approaches?” My personal experience with student-centered instruction supports recent research findings: a student-centered approach is statistically no better, but no worse, at preparing students for summative, high stakes, tests than is a traditional teacher-centered approach; however, student-centered approaches have taken the burden of learning off the shoulders of teachers and placed it squarely on the backs of the student. By utilizing a student-centered approach, I have become more of an educational facilitator and less of a fact disseminator. Student-centered learners have an easier time acquiring science process skills, exhibit greater creativity, demonstrate greater confidence and possess a more positive attitude about science and science learning than those who pass through more traditionally taught programs of study.

I have always felt that students learn best by doing and that education should immolate real life. I truly believe that my students are not only learning better in science, but have become better learners in general, since I began incorporating real research in the classroom. By working cooperatively and using modified modeling methods outlined by the University of Hawaii and University of Arizona, all students appear to be achieving greater academic and emotional success.

Since my initial National Board for Professional Teaching (NBPT) certification in 1999, I have been actively involved in promoting and facilitating this professional development opportunity locally, within my state, and nationally. Through reflective practice and active involvement in a professional learning community (PLC), even “great” teachers can become better!

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, March 7

2:00pm CST