Smithsonian Launches a New Animated Video Series, But I’m Not Sure Who It’s For

Last week I received a notice from the Smithsonian Science Education Center about a new series of animated videos that they were planning to release today. The series, titled Good Thinking, is now live on YouTube.

Good Thinking is a set of animated videos featuring a teacher demonstrating and explaining teaching methods. The topics of the videos are Conceptual Change, Learning Styles, and Common Misconceptions About Natural Selection. I watched the videos an I cannot tell who Smithsonian is trying to reach with them. As an adult I didn’t find the videos engaging or enlightening. I’m also having a hard time picturing students watching the videos and understanding them. I’ve embedded the videos below so that you can judge for yourself.

Here’s the text of the press release I received about the series. Perhaps you can tell me who Smithsonian is trying to reach with these videos:

“Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Science” — a free, engaging and entertaining new web series designed to support science educators and addresses the need for accessible professional development tools that help teachers break down barriers to understanding scientific principles and increase their classroom skills.

A first-of-its-kind series, “Good Thinking!” comprises short, animated videos that explore pedagogical ideas across a range of subject-matter topics like energy, cells, and gravity as well as cognitive research findings on topics like student motivation or the myth of left- and right-brained people. “Good Thinking!” shines a light on the classroom and pedagogical challenges teachers face, and provides solid, science-based ideas that keep their teaching on track. The series enhances K-8 science education and deepens understanding of STEM topics, for teachers and students alike.


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