Bass Connections Student Stories: Zoe Bakker
Like most Bass Connections teams, our team is a collection of people with varied majors, skills, and experiences.
French Studies and Linguistics ’17
Like most Bass Connections teams, our team is a collection of people with varied majors, skills, and experiences. We have neuroscience majors, chemistry majors, a global health and psychology major, and me, a French major. Our project is working to refine a neuroscience-based health curriculum to be taught in 9th grade classes in the state of North Carolina. When reading this description, one can easily see the value added by students studying science. Where, then, does that leave the French major?
Our team started work with just three student members over the summer: Allison, Gabrielle, and me. The majority of our time was spent familiarizing ourselves with the curriculum, to attempt to decide what changes needed to be made to make this curriculum better for students to learn and teachers to teach.
For me, the bulk of the material presented was a refresher of my 10th grade health course or altogether new concepts. I attended public schools in Alabama for 13 years, and I have to say that as expected, the standards of education were rather low, especially when it comes to science. I was taught 9th grade biology by an English teacher in an English classroom, doing our frog dissection outside in the school courtyard because there was not enough lab space available. In Alabama, the equivalent health course to the one covered by our North Carolina curriculum is taught sophomore year of high school. My situation is unique in that I did not take the course in a classroom with a teacher. I did it by mail, sending in assignments and receiving grades in the mail a few weeks later. Not surprisingly, I did not learn and store much knowledge from that correspondence course. However, my experience with a lackluster health education is the reason that I feel so strongly about the need to offer an interesting and engaging health curriculum to students.